With slow progress of rains, sowing of kharif crops remains slack

Data shows that kharif crops were sown in around 9.06 million hectares till June 21, which is 12.49% less than the area covered during the same period last year
Sowing of kharif crops continued to remain subdued for the second consecutive week because of delay in the onset of southwest monsoon over several parts of central, western and northern India.

However, experts said it is too early to make a correct assessment as to what extent the late sowing will impact final yields but concerns do remain about the final production.

Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) discounted any fear of widespread drought in the country and said the situation would improve in the next few days.

“Farmers should start sowing kharif crops as soon as their region gets minimum 70 millimetres of rain,” IMD director-general KJ Ramesh told Business Standard. He said delay in the onset of the rains and progress of southwest monsoon this year is nothing new and has happened on several occasions in the past.

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Data shows that kharif crops were sown in around 9.06 million hectares till June 21, which is 12.49 per cent less than the area covered during the same period last year and 14.15 per cent less than the average area covered in the previous five sowing seasons.

Area covered under all crops — be it oilseeds, pulses, rice, cotton and coarse cereals — is below last year’s level as on June 21. Total cumulative monsoon deficiency for the season as on date stood at 42 per cent, with north, central and south India bearing the maximum brunt.

However, there was some hope on the horizon as the southwest monsoon is set for a revival in the next few days. The rains are expected to cover large parts of Maharashtra in the next few days and also move towards Jharkhand and Bihar on the eastern side. This year, progress of the southwest monsoon, after a delayed entry, has been rather sluggish due to the impact of cyclone Vayu.


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