Kharif sowing to be over by next week: Farm min

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 29 2012, 07:28am hrs
With the monsoon picking pace in the last two months, kharif-sowing across the country has picked up momentum. Sowing activities are expected to be completed in the next one week.

According to the data released on Friday by ministry of agriculture, rice has been sown in more than 36.7 million hectare till now against a normal sowing area of 36.1 mh. With the revival in kharif-sowing, initial apprehensions about a lower rice output because of a patchy monsoon in June and July has been largely reduced.

Earlier in the week, while releasing the first advanced estimate for the food production, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar had stated the total food grains production in kharif 2012-13 is expected at 11.71 million tonne around 10% lower than last years production.

Whatever shortfall we have seen in kharif season will be covered in rabi. The late rains have improved the moisture levels in soil and farmers have been advised to go in for early sowing, Pawar said.

Agricultural scientists said due to recent rains, paddy transplantation has been completed in most of the key regions with the exception of Jharkhand where the monsoon has been deficient by 10%.

The agriculture ministry said higher rice acreage has been reported from Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. At the same time Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand have reported less rice acreage.

In case of coarse cereals, sowing had been completed in 17.5 million hectare against the normal coverage of 20.8 mh. Total pulses coverage had been in excess of 10.1 mh against normal coverage of 10.6 mh. However, oilseeds sowing had been over 17.5 mh that has matched normal sowing areas. In case of sugarcane, the total sowing had been 5.2 mh against a normal sowing areas of 4.7 mh.

As per reports received from various key rice-growing areas, the standing crop looks good. We could match last years rice production figure of 103.4 million tonne this year, Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) director Trilochan Mohapatra told FE. Meanwhile the overall rainfall deficiency for the southwestern monsoon this year had declined to only 7% of the Long Period Average. LPA is calculated on the basis of average annual rainfall received.

As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD) data, key rice-growing states have received more than adequate rainfall till now. Telangana (4%), Rayalseema (13%), Coastal Andhra Pradesh (13%), Chhattisgarh (8%), Orissa (0%) have received excess rainfall during the progress of monsoon this year.