Uneven rain in large parts of country disrupts sowing pattern: CARE Ratings

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Excess rainfall in 25 per cent of the 36 meteorological subdivisions is impeding the crop sowing patterns in the country, leading to drop in sowing of rice by about 37 per cent during the ongoing Kharif season.

"Normal rainfall in the country with even distribution is a positive for the economy but with 25 per cent of the subdivisions recording excess rainfall coupled with 20 per cent of the subdivisions recording deficient rainfall could be an impediment in the sowing patterns. There are reports of some crops being affected negatively due to flooding," CARE Ratings said in its Monsoon Monitor report.   

Of the 36 meteorological subdivisions, 29 have recorded excess and normal rainfall which is highest in the last five years. Similarly,  of the 29 subdivisions, one has recorded “large excess”  (more than 60 per cent deviation) rainfall, while eight have recorded “excess rainfall” (deviation between +20 per cent and +59 per cent). The balance 20 subdivisions have recorded normal rainfall. There are also seven subdivisions which continue to record a deficiency in rainfall during this cumulative period. 

"Twenty subdivisions recording normal rainfall is a positive, but the concern is around the nine subdivisions which have recorded excess or large excess rainfall and seven which have recorded deficient rainfall as both scenarios can adversely affect the crop production", it imd, added.   

India has witnessed large scale floods in several parts such as Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. The western and south-west regions of the country have also received heavy rains and hence have been categorised either under the “excess” or “large excess” category.   

"The sowing patterns across key crops as of August 16, 2019, has seen an improvement but the concern remains around the sowing of rice which has seen more than three million hectares contraction from normal and a year ago", the rating agency said. 

The area brought under sowing as of August 16, 2019, stood at 30.14 million hectares in the country against 33.84 million hectares covered during the same period of 2018, a drop of around 37 per cent.  The sowing of all key cereals has also been lower than the normal of the corresponding week.

On the other hand, total pulses have recorded an increase of 0.54 million hectares from the normal of the corresponding week. Sugarcane and cotton continue to record higher sowing than normal up to  August 16.

"Excess rainfall in some regions is a positive from the view of reservoir and groundwater level but could destroy the production of certain crops. Combination of excess rainfall and deficient rainfall in almost 45 per cent of all the subdivisions could weigh on food inflation going ahead," it added.

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