Truant monsoon hurts rice sowing; acreage down 12%

akun sabharwal warns erring

Shortfall will be made up in Aug, says Agriculture Secretary
The sowing of rice — the primary kharif crop — seems to have been hit with monsoon rains playing truant with many eastern States and Uttar Pradesh. According to government data released for the week, the acreage under rice cultivation is nearly 28 lakh hectares (lh) — about 12 per cent lower than the year-ago period. Sowing for all kharif crops stands at 738 lh, which is nearly 7 per cent lower than the 798 lh covered in the same week last year, the release from the Ministry of Agriculture showed. Rice cultivation was nearly 50 per cent lower than the normal for the week in Bihar and Jharkhand; the shortfall for West Bengal was 40 per cent and for Uttar Pradesh, 20 per cent. Among States that have reported better rice acreage are Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. “There is nothing to be concerned about. We have the whole of August to make up. Even otherwise, many parts in these States have started getting rains in the last 1-2 days which will help sowing,” said Agriculture Secretary SK Pattanayak.

akun sabharwal warns erring 2
Planting of pulses improved substantially over the previous week, but acreage was lower than the year-ago period. The cultivation of urad, whose acreage at 27.45 lh is nearly 17 per cent less than last year’s fugures, seems to be an area of concern. The acreage under moong and arhar nearly matches last year’s numbers, and is better than what is normal for the year. With soya bean leading the way, oilseeds cultivation, at 141 lh, is looking up, with the acreage being only 1 per cent lower than last year. Cotton sowing, at 102.5 lh, is close to what is normal for the week, while that of coarse cereals falls behind by 8 per cent. According to Pattanayak, bajra cultivation, which is about 19 per cent lower, will pick up momentum as it the crop would command better minimum support price this season.

Source : Business line

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