Sowing of kharif crops up to Friday was close to 5% higher than the year-ago period, even as roughly 80% of the sowing activity was complete...
Sowing of kharif crops up to Friday was close to 5% higher than the year-ago period, even as roughly 80% of the sowing activity was complete, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Area under most major crops, except cotton and jute, grew from last year. While data released by the agriculture ministry augured well for the country’s farm sector, concerns remained in some circles about the geographical spread of rainfall in the residual monsoon season. The latest reservoir data released on Thursday had shown a drop in water storage from both the level a year earlier and the normal benchmark average. The previous weekly sowing report (for the period up to July 31) had said the area under crops was close to 9% higher than the year-ago period.
In fact, up to mid-July, the sowing this year had been far more robust than last year but the gap narrowed since then, partly because the sowing had picked up sharply from the second half of July last year.
According to official data, area under pulses and coarse grains surged 14% and 12%, respectively, up to Friday from a year earlier while the area under oilseeds has declined by more than 3% compared with the year-ago period.
Kharif sowing of rice, which constitutes around 80% of the total annual production of the cereal, was up 4.4%. Rains across the paddy-growing areas during August would be critical.
Seasonal showers declined 7% from the long-period average (LPA) up to August 7, worsening from a deficit of 4% witnessed until July 30. According to data compiled by the ministry of water resources, storage across 91 water reservoirs touched 78.37 billion cubic metres (bcm) up to Thursday, down 7.5% from 84.72 bcm a year earlier and slightly lower than the normal 10-year average of 79.04 bcm. The current storage is nearly 50% of the total live capacity of these reservoirs, lower than that of 54% a year earlier.