The southwest monsoon continues to be active over the south, central and western regions, while parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand are yet to get adequate rainfalls this season.
There were deficiencies in rainfall in western Uttar Pradesh (49%), eastern Uttar Pradesh (59%), Bihar (44%), West Bengal (47%) and Jharkhand (51%) against the benchmarks till Sunday. This has hit paddy sowing.
The excess rainfall in the southern peninsula (32%), and central India (27%) so far have given a boost to sowing of pulses, oilseeds and coarse cereals.
Last week, the government did not release official data on the progress of paddy sowing citing delay in getting reports from states. Experts say that the paddy sowing window will be over in the next couple days.
In the sowing data last released on July 15, paddy sowing area was reported at 12.8 million hectare (MH) which was 17% less than year ago level. Area under all summer crops including paddy, pulses, oilseeds, coarse cereals, sugarcane and cotton sown area were reported at 59.21 MH, marginally higher than corresponding period last year.
“We are still optimistic that the shortfall in paddy sown areas would be covered soon,” an agriculture ministry official told FE.
According to the agriculture ministry, oilseeds such as soyabean, groundnut and sesamum have been 5% up from the same period last year till Friday.
Soyabean has been sown in 10.83 MH so far which is an increase of more than 9% than previous year. However, groundnut sowing has been close to 8% down compared to previous year.
Pulses have been sown in 6.5% more area than last year. Arhar, which constitutes the higher share in India’s import basket, sowing has been lagging behind by 20% so far.
However, sowing of urad and moong has been up by more than 7% and 31% respectively so far.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday predicted intense rainfall activity in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in the next two days. The met department also predicted an increase in rainfall activity over northern parts of the country from July 27th onwards.
The cumulative rainfall received during June 1-July 24 was 422 mm, which was 11% more than the normal benchmark of 380 mm for the same period.
Central India and the South Peninsula have received 27% and 32% more rainfall respectively than the normal range so far. The rainfall deficiency in northwest India and east and north east regions has been 1% and 15% respectively.
As many as 28 out of the country’s 36 meteorological subdivisions recorded rainfall in the range of normal (96-104%), above normal (104-110%) and excess (110% and above) range against the benchmark – long period average (LPA).
The met department had stated that cumulative rainfall during July 2022 is most likely to be in the normal range – 94% to 106 % of LPA. So far, rainfall in July has been 125% of LPA.
In April, 2022, the government had set a record foodgrain production target of 328 million tonne (MT) in the 2022-23 crop year (July-June) against 314 MT of production in 2021-22, as per the third advance estimate of foodgrain production released in May. Rice production target of 112 MT in the ongoing kharif season of the 2022-23 crop year (July-June).
Meanwhile, the average water level in 143 major reservoirs in the country till last Thursday was 43% more than a year ago, the Central Water Commission said. The water level was also 55% higher than the average of the last 10 years.