Karnataka to see 25% fall in kharif output due to poor rains

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Karnataka's foodgrain production in the ongoing kharif season is likely to fall by 25 per cent to 75 lakh tonnes because of poor rains, a state government official said on Tuesday.

Against the target of 73 lakh hectares, about 60 lakh hectares have been covered under kharif (summer) crops in the current 2017-18 crop year (July-June). Late arrival of rains has encouraged sowing of ragi and Horse gram in the state.

"Due to lack of rains in crucial months of June and July, sowing could not take place. Therefore, not much area was covered under kharif crops. We expect 25 per cent drop in kharif output," Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre Director G S Srinivasa Reddy told PTI.

Last year, the kharif output was 98.27 lakh tonnes. The production target for the current year is 100.80 lakh tonnes, as per the state data.

Reddy was here to attend a two-day national conference where discussions with all state governments centred on the sowing strategy for the upcoming rabi (winter) season.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, the official said late arrival of rains has boosted sowing of paddy, ragi and some pulses. Another 2-3 lakh hectares are expected to be sown.

The state received 5 per cent less rains in June while the shortfall was 38 per cent in July, badly affecting crops, he noted.

However, from mid-August, Reddy said monsoon has picked up and many parts have recorded good rainfall.

"Overall monsoon is 5 per cent less in the state so far. Distribution is good except for Malnad and coastal areas," he added.

"Reservoirs like Almatti and Narayanpura on Krishna basin are full. Right now, water level in all reservoirs is good. There is about 54 tmc of water while the capacity is 104 tmc (thousand million cubic feet)," the official added.

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