Kharif sow­ing down due to de­fi­cient rain­fall

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - | POLITICS POLICY - Vishwa.Mo­han@ times­

New Delhi: Even as rain deficit nar­rowed down a bit in the coun­try in the past one week, de­fi­cient rain­fall in north-west, east and north-east India has taken its toll on acreage of Kharif (sum­mer sown) crops. Over­all sown area as on Fri­day con­tin­ued to be less as com­pared to the acreage dur­ing the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod last year.

Agri­cul­ture min­istry’s fig­ures show that the over­all sown area, as on Fri­day, was down by 10% as com­pared to the acreage of Kharif crops at this time last year with pulses re­port­ing a de­cline by over 9% and oilseeds and rice by nearly 8% each.

The de­cline is at­trib­uted to over­all deficit rain­fall in the coun­try. The India Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal De­part­ment’s (IMD) data showed 6% deficit in cu­mu­la­tive rain­fall dur­ing June 1-July 13 pe­riod with east and north-east India to­gether re­port­ing high­est deficit of 28%. The over­all deficit was 8% be- low nor­mal a week ago (July 6).

The acreage is, how­ever, ex­pected to in­crease in next two weeks as sow­ing op­er­a­tion has been pick­ing up fast, backed by above nor­mal rain­fall in cen­tral and south penin­sula.

“Mon­soon is very likely to be near its nor­mal po­si­tion dur­ing the next one week. Af­ter that, above nor­mal rain­fall ac­tiv­ity is very likely over north-west, cen­tral and east India (dur­ing July 19-25 week),” said D S Pai, IMD’s lead mon­soon fore­caster.

Pai told TOI on Fri­day though the north-east India would con­tinue to get be­low nor­mal rain­fall, the sit­u­a­tion will im­prove in north-west and east India.

Re­main­ing pe­riod of July is quite cru­cial for Kharif sow­ing. “We ex­pect that the gap in acreage will be nar­rowed down sub­stan­tially by the end of this month. Ground re­ports from states are quite en­cour­ag­ing and there­fore there is no need to panic at this junc­ture,” said an agri­cul­ture min­istry of­fi­cial.

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