Sowing of kharif crops progresses well

| | New Delhi

Sowing of kharif crops like paddy is progressing well so far except in parts of Karnataka and no damage to crops has been reported yet from States like Odisha and Assam facing flood-like situation.

According to Secretary (Agriculture) Shobhan K Pattanayak, except for south interior parts of Karnataka, sowing of kharif crops across the country is progressing well so far. "Overall, the acreage is higher than the year-ago period," Pattanayak said. 

Asked about States like Karnataka where some parts have not received rains as yet, the secretary said, "Farmers in the State are waiting for rains at this crucial period of sowing. We hope that next 4-5 days, the State receives good rains." Southern parts of the State, especially Dharwad and Gadag, have not received enough rains so far and the water level in reservoirs is also very low, he said.   

But in other parts of the state, the situation is better and planting of kharif crops is progressing, he added.

The area sown to cash crops — cotton and sugarcane — has risen so far while the acreage under soyabean and tur is a little lower, but "it's not a concern as of now". "Overall, the sowing is good. We hope good production," Pattanayak added.

According to weather forecast, Southwest monsoon is likely to remain vigorous over Coastal Odisha, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, and North Konkan and Goa. The northern plains such as Delhi, Haryana, and Punjab will receive light and patchy rains till July 18. Rain is likely to increase from July 20 and many parts of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, West Uttar Pradesh and North Rajasthan is expected to witness good rains till July 23.

About the flood-hit States, Pattanayak said, "We have not received any reports of crop damage yet. Till last week, paddy was sown in 125.77 lakh hectares, up by 4.5 per cent from 120.32 lakh hectares a year ago, as per the agriculture ministry's data. Pulse acreage remained higher at 74.61 lakh hectares from 60.28 lakh hectares while coverage of coarse cereals stood at 113.06 lakh hectares as against 98.79 lakh hectares in the said period.

However, the oilseed area went down to 103.92 lakh hectares, from 115.75 lakh hectares a year earlier.

In the case of cash crops, sugarcane acreage stood higher at 47.94 lakh hectares till last week of the ongoing kharif season, from 45.22 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.  



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