Sluggish monsoon hits kharif sowing

Farmers in Rajasthan have planted pulses on 14.09 lakh hectares, which is 2.5 lakh hectares more than the normal for this time of the season. However, farmers in the state had planted pulses on 22.41 lakh hectares of farm land for the corresponding period last year. PTI file photo

Sluggish progress of the monsoon has slowed down sowing of kharif crops with farmers planting paddy on 116.72 lakh hectares as of Friday which is 13.48% less than the normal for the period.

According to the data released by the Agriculture Ministry, the area sown to pulses was 60.56 lakh hectares which were 9.98% more than the normal levels but almost 6.5 lakh hectares less than that for the corresponding period of last year.

The weather office said on Friday that India had received 6% less rainfall than what was normal for this time of the year. Large rainfall deficits were reported from Jharkhand, Bihar and Gangetic West Bengal which witnessed departures from normal to the tune of 40%, 36% and 27% respectively.

According to the ministry, less acreage area for rice was reported from Bihar (4.02 lakh hectares), Uttar Pradesh (3.04 lakh ha.), Chhattisgarh (2.68 lakh ha.), West Bengal (1.29 lakh ha.) and Punjab (1.17 lakh ha.).

Farmers in Rajasthan have planted pulses on 14.09 lakh hectares, which is 2.5 lakh hectares more than the normal for this time of the season. However, farmers in the state had planted pulses on 22.41 lakh hectares of farmland for the corresponding period last year.

In Karnataka, farmers have sown pulses on 10.88 lakh hectares, which is 1.85 lakh ha more than normal, but 1.3 lakh ha less than what they had sown for the corresponding period last year.

Farm experts, however, were not worried about the sluggish pace of sowing. They said the pace of sowing would pick up as the monsoon progresses. According to weather scientists, the monsoon is expected to be active over eastern parts of the country early next week.

As per the Agriculture Ministry data, the area sown to coarse cereal stood at 92.46 lakh hectares, which was 3.8% lower than the normal levels of 96.25 lakh hectares. The higher area was reported from Madhya Pradesh (2.58 lakh ha), Karnataka (0.48 lakh ha) and Haryana (0.44 lakh ha).

Oilseeds also reported lower acreage than normal with farmers having sown such crops on 96.96 lakh hectares, which is 7.35 lakh hectares than normal coverage for the corresponding week.

Despite being in crisis, farmers have taken to growing sugarcane in a big way with the coverage for the cash crop at 50.52 lakh hectares – 5.07 lakh hectares more than the normal acreage.
Higher acreage has been reported from Uttar Pradesh (2.88 lakh ha.), Maharashtra (1.34 lakh ha) and Karnataka (0.85 lakh ha).

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Sluggish monsoon hits kharif sowing

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