Gujarat has witnessed very heavy rains across the state since last two weeks, which may translate into huge damage to kharif sowing, mainly in Saurashtra and north Gujarat.
Gujarat has witnessed very heavy rains across the state since last two weeks, which may translate into huge damage to kharif sowing, mainly in Saurashtra and north Gujarat. According to initial estimate, about 25-30% of cotton areas have been possibly damaged in excess rainfall. Overall, the agriculture department of the state fears 25% damage in kharif sowing. According to Gujarat agriculture department’s data, as on July 24, the state saw kharif sowing on 7.01 million hectare as against 5.70 million hectare in corresponding period of last year. Cotton and groundnut are the main kharif crops in Gujarat. Sowing of cotton has been done on 2.58 million hectare which was 2.03 million hectare in 2016 at this time.
Similarly, area under groundnut crop has reached to 1.60 million hectare against 1.50 million hectare. Cereals have been sown on 965,900 hectares, pulses 490,800 hectares, soybeans 117,600 hectares, guar seeds 145,200 hectares and castor 128,500 hectares, according to the state agriculture department. “Saurashtra and north part of the state have excess rainfall in July. We have formed teams to estimate loss in agriculture in flood affected areas. “Our primary estimate is about 22-25% damage in kharif sowing. Cotton and pulses are most affected and 25-30% damage is possible in these crops while in groundnut about 15-17% loss is expected,” said top official of Gujarat agriculture department.
The Gujarat government has initiated an assessment of the agriculture loss in the state, even as a team from the central government is expected to arrive soon for its own assessment. According to the government, the state has received over 500 mm rainfall so far that is around 70% of season’s total rainfall in monsoon. Surendranagar, Chotila, Rajkot, Morbi, Padadhari , Jamnagar, Bhavnagar and Banaskantha are the flood affected areas in the state. According to farmers, crops such as sesame, urad, moong and castor have completely failed due to water logging in farms and if the weather doesn’t clear, it will damage cotton crop further.
Rajkot-based farmer Ramesh Bhoraniya said, “Sunny weather is required at this time to save the standing cotton crop. Most of the pulses crops have been failed due to water logging in the farms. “Possibility of resowing is there but for that clear sky is required.”