Kharif sowing down due to deficient rainfall
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.