Maharashtra raises kharif crop output estimate with increase in sowing area

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May 26, 2021 3:45 AM

The state had utilised 151 lakh ha for kharif crops in 2020-21, despite setting a 140-lakh ha target. The state is also expecting a record 1,285.2 lakh tonne of production this year from kharif season, officials of the agriculture department said.

The targets were set at a meeting chaired by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray (CM) to review the preparedness for the kharif season starting from June.The targets were set at a meeting chaired by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray (CM) to review the preparedness for the kharif season starting from June.

The government of Maharashtra has set higher production targets for the coming kharif season of 2021-22 by increasing the state’s sowing area to 157 lakh hectare (ha) from last season’s 140 lakh ha, following predictions of a higher-than-average monsoon by the Met Department.

The state had utilised 151 lakh ha for kharif crops in 2020-21, despite setting a 140-lakh ha target. The state is also expecting a record 1,285.2 lakh tonne of production this year from kharif season, officials of the agriculture department said.

The targets were set at a meeting chaired by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray (CM) to review the preparedness for the kharif season starting from June.

State agriculture minister Dada Bhuse informed that the maximum area (43.5 lakh ha) for sowing is expected to be used for soybean, followed by cotton (43 lakh ha), cereals (23 lakh ha) and rice (15.5 lakh ha).

Around 884,000 ha is expected to be used for sowing maize. For this, the state will require 63.64 lakh tonne chemical fertilizers and 18.26 lakh quintal of seeds for the farming community.

Maharashtra has around 152 lakh farmers, of which 28.40% are small farmers, while 51.10% are marginal farmers.
The state has set a target of Rs 42,388 crore as crop loans by commercial and district banks for kharif season. Senior officials said that Rs 6,091 crore has already been disbursed to 9.29 lakh (929,000) farmers by May 15. The total target set for crop loans this year is Rs 57,143 crore.

The latest data released by the agriculture department shows that the production of kharif food grains grew as much as 49% in 2020 compared with 2019. The data shows the production of cereals rose 59%, kharif pulses 19%, oilseeds 28% and that of the key cash crops sugarcane and cotton 44% in 2020.

These details were presented on Thursday in a review conducted by the state government of the upcoming kharif season in the state. Officials said the state has provided for fertilizers amounting to 63 lakh tonne and 18.3 lakh quintal seeds for the kharif season.

Officials have also asked for a meeting with bank officials to ensure that crop loans are given on time to farmers.
In order to assist farmers, shops selling fertilizers, seeds and agricultural equipment have been asked to stay open. Thackeray asked officials to encourage farmers to go for ‘Vikel Te Pikel (sow crops that are in demand)’ model and create their own brand in the market.

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