Erratic monsoon affects paddy sowing

Erratic monsoon affects paddy sowing

With the kharif sowing window drawing to a close by this weekend, the area of sowing of paddy was 114.63 lakh hectare as on July 16 against 145.21 lakh hectare in the same period last year, which is down by about 30.58 lakh hectare. 

Worst-hit areas

Sowing of paddy was worst-hit in Jharkhand by 43 per cent down, followed by Maharashtra, down by 36.32 per cent. In Uttar Pradesh sowing is down by 33 per cent; in Bihar down 30 per cent; in Chhattisgarh down by 27 per cent; in West Bengal by 35 per cent and in Punjab down by 8 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Though the monsoon has picked up for the past one week with the country receiving 6 per cent above the normal, it would only help oil seeds and pulses cultivation and not paddy, said an official from the Ministry of Agriculture.

This year, the country’s foodgrain stock is 30.2 million tonne of rice against the normal 11.2 million tonne and wheat 12.4 million tonne against the required 11.4 million tonne.

As the Centre  is preparing to roll out cheap foodgrain distribution scheme with 25 kg of rice or wheat to every family under below poverty line (BPL), a possible shortfall in foodgrain is a cause of worry for the government. A jittery government has already banned export of wheat to ensure sufficient stock in the country for welfare schemes.

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