As uneven monsoon hits Kharif crop output, here’s what govt must do to keep up food supply

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Published: September 13, 2019 4:47:23 PM

As crop production this Kharif season is likely to take a hit due to uneven monsoon, the government must deploy effective measures for the procurement of crops to keep up with the food supply.

FarmBoth excess and low monsoon rains are detrimental to the production of major crops including rice, wheat, pulses and oilseeds. (Image: IE)

As crop production this Kharif season is likely to take a hit due to uneven monsoon, the government must deploy effective measures for the procurement of crops to keep up with the food supply. “Deficient rainfall might negatively impact rice and wheat production… However, it is likely that food grain production in the current fiscal will be better than earlier estimates. It is thus imperative that government does effective procurement of crops,” SBI Ecowrap research report said on Friday. Both excess and low monsoon rains are detrimental to the production of major crops including rice, wheat, pulses and oilseeds.

According to the data on quantum of food grain procurement by government agencies, 38% rice, 36% of wheat and 8% of pulses have been procured out of their total production in 2019. However, there is a slowdown in the procurement of pulses in 2019, as compared to the previous year, the SBI Ecowrap report said. Further, rice acreage this year has been down compared to the last year. “Rice sowing was 2.8% lower at 36.6 million hectares,” a Kotak Institutional Equities report said.

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While India received higher rainfall by 2% on-year, Northern, Eastern and western states (barring Punjab & Rajasthan) received deficient rainfall which may have a negative effect on rice and wheat production. In Central India, excess rainfall could impact the production of pulses and oilseeds as they are the major crops there. Only Southern region got normal rainfall but cash crops are primarily sown in those states.

The total Kharif sowing has slipped by 0.6% compared to the corresponding period last year. Other than rice acreage, oilseed sowing was 0.1% lower at 17.3 million hectares and at 13 million hectares, pulses acreage was 2% lower than last year, according to Kotak report. On the other hand, sugarcane and cotton sowing continue to stay high at 5.2 million hectares and 12.6 million hectares respectively.

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