Kharif crop causes furrow in govt brow

As June ended with barely any rainfall, the government has begun worrying about crop sowing in the recession-hit agro-economy because of large gaps in sowing targets for khariff crops.

The weathermen do not offer any hope. “We can hope for a revival only around second week of July. Any chance of revival in the first week of July is ruled out,” a weather scientist told Deccan Herald.

The gap in showing is visible for all crops. Rice was sown in 30.72 lakh hectares as against 41.51 lakh hectares in the corresponding period last year. Coarse cereals were sown in 10.42 lakh hectares as against 22.05 lakh hectares in 2011; oil seeds in 10.77 lakh hectares compared to 13 lakh hectares and pulses in 3.99 lakh ha as against 6.08 lakh ha in the corresponding period last year.

Sowing of crops, which normally begin in April, did not gain momentum yet due to late arrival and subsequent lull in the monsoon. South West monsoon was extremely crucial for agriculture as only 40 per cent of cultivable area is under irrigation. The centre may announce a contingency plan on July 3.

The Indian Meteorological Department said on Friday that there was a hiatus in monsoon's advancement last week, leading to further downfall in rain. The shortage was 27 per cent for the country and 67 per cent for north west India. For central and southern India, the deficiency was 38 and 28 per cent respectively.

Rainfall was either scanty or deficient in 82 per cent of Indian land mass. “The situation is gloomy. There will not be much action next week and monsoon may revive in central India after two weeks. At the moment, dry westerlies are driving away the moisture,” said the scientist.

Conditions favouring monsoon's advancement in central and northwest India would be visible in the second half of the week, said an IMD scientist.

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