Kharif production gets monsoon boost with 11% excess rainfall

Written by Sandip Das | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 31 2013, 08:37am hrs
With large parts of the country getting excess rainfall in last three months of the monsoon, the output of kharif crops such as rice, pulses, coarse cereals and oilseeds are set to rise sharply.

As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD) data, the country so far received 11% more rainfall compared to the long-period average (LPA), which is calculated on the basis of the average annual rainfall (89 cm) recorded between 1951 and 2000.

Central India, south peninsula and northwestern regions have received the chunk of 'excess' rainfall. However, key rice-growing states like Bihar and Jharkhand continue to be 'rainfall deficient' by 29% and 22%, respectively.

However, the met department on Friday said good rainfall occurrence in Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh have eased the drought situation.

Despite deficit rainfall in Bihar and northeastern states since the southwestern monsoon rains hit Kerala on June 1, rice sowing has been reported in more than 35.4 million hectares till Friday against 34.4 mh reported in the same period last year. This is a marginal increase of more than 2.9% from the previous year.

An agriculture ministry official said more areas have been added for rice cultivation this year in states such as Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.

So far the rain gods have been generous and we have above normal rainfall. If the remaining months also receive good rainfall, we will have record-breaking agri-production in 2013-14, which should surely help ease the pressure on food inflation, Ashok Gulati, chairman, Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), told FE

Kharif sowing of pulses such as pigeon pea, urad and moong has seen a 14% increase in areas compared to last year because of majority of the districts have received normal to excess rainfall till now. The pulses have been grown in more than 10 million hectares till now compared to 8.8 mh reported in the same period last year.

Sowing of oilseeds such as groundnut and soyabean have been reported in more than 18.8 mh against only 16.7 mh reported in the same period last year. This is an increase of more than 12.5%.

We are expected to get a bumper production of oilseeds, pulses and rice this kharif season," an agriculture ministry official said.

The sowing of coarse cereals such as jawar, bajra and maize have been reported across 19 mh against 16.8 mh reported in the same period last year. This is an increase of more than 13%

The Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) said in an advisory that farmers in Bihar and Jharkhand should plant short-duration paddy varieties and maize, pulses and oilseeds if deficient rains continue for another week.