While the pandemic hits other sectors badly, there is satisfactory progress in the agriculture sector with Kharif sowing setting a record high. India set for bumper Kharif crop with good monsoon and increased sowing.
The sowing coverage under Kharif crops has gone up in almost all states. With 100% irrigation, Punjab has managed to come at par with a year ago levels of paddy, cotton, and maize. However, the cotton plantation in Gujarat has dropped by 13% to 22.7 lakh due to the rainfall deficit. That apart, groundnut sowing in Gujarat has jumped by 34% owing to 77% above average rains in Saurashtra and Kutch region. Adequate monsoon in Telangana and Rajasthan has boosted sowing coverage under all the major Kharif crops.
Increase in the Area Under Kharif Crop
This season, India has covered 1 thousand 63 lakh hectare area under Kharif crops till now. This is 8.5% more than last year’s coverage. According to data released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, rice has witnessed an increase of 12% in its total sowing area, from 351.86 lakh ha to 308.51 lakh. While the area under coarse cereal saw a jump of 5.84 lakh ha, oilseed cultivation has spiked over 14%. Also, sugarcane has gone up to about 52.02 lakh ha as against 51.40 lakh ha in last year. The area under cotton rises from 121.58 lakh ha to 125.48 lakh ha this year.
Better Price Expected- Experts
Though good monsoon will play its part, the government has aided farmers with several reforms like better access to the market to level up their economic strength. Hanish Kumar Sinha, head of research and development at National Bulk Handling Corporation, predicts that if the rest of the monsoon goes well, the country can expect a record Kharif crop. BV Mehta, executive director, Solvent Extractors’ Association, said that the situation looks comfortable with timely rainfall. However, Bimal Kothari, vice president, Indian Pulses and Grains Association expressed his concerns over excessive rain.
Mangla Rai, director-general of the Indian Council for Agriculture Research attributed the increase to proportionately distributed and well-precipitated rains. Shiraj Hussain, former Union agriculture secretary, said that a reasonable price is expected in the international market this year.
In all, the Indian agriculture sector is seeing historic Kharif sowing this year.