Crop Conditions


The delay in monsoon by a fortnight has affected agricultural operations in the country. It is the time for summer crop planting which has gone down by 27 per cent in comparison to usual and last year sowing. Monsoon rains have covered the nation. The Mumbai which is generally lashed by downpour in June is experiencing it now in the July month. It is record break rains there. The weather office has warned the people of Mumbai of very heavy rainfall in coming four days. The people of urban areas are flooded with the news of floods all over and water logging in all the cities and towns. But in the agro sector the situation is different. This year the pre-monsoon rains were very scanty and farmers could not prepare their fields for timely sowing. The farmers start planting the summer crops known as Kharif from June 1 expecting monsoon within few days. But this year it was double hit on farmers and agriculture. There were virtually no pre-monsoon rains and monsoon come late by fortnight. The agricultural sowing and ripening have set time table. Any delay affects it adversely. According to Union Ministry of Agriculture lack of pre-monsoon rains and delay in arrival of monsoon has slowed down sowing in the entire country. The kharif sowing go on two months from June 1 to end of July. The paddy is the main Kharif crop as wheat is main crop of rabi season. The planting of paddy crops this year till July 5 is 5.2 million hectares while last year in the same period it was 6.9 million hectares. The corn planting is 2.1 million hectares against 3.1 million in the same period. The area planted with cotton is 4.6 million hectares while last year it was 5.5 million hectares. The soyabean is also a major kharif crop and is major factor in the edible oil requirement of the country. The middle class has adopted it in their consumption. It was not an Indian crop. Indian farmers knew nothing about its nature and procedure and practice of cultivation. After independence India imported it from America and with great efforts introduced it into the agriculture of India. Now it is fully Indian crop for lakhs of farmers it is their main produce as cash crop. The soyabean has become agro economy in India. Large number of soya oil mills have come up with large employment potential. This year its sowing has come down very much up till now it is sown in 1.7 million hectares while last year in the same period it was sown on 4.8 million hectares. The other crops planting of pulses and sugarcane are also down than last year. If there is shortfall in soyabean production our edible oil import that is 60 per cent of our requirement will go up further.