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Monsoon delay impacts kharif crop cultivation in India, reduced by 30%

The delayed arrival of the monsoon has had a severe impact on the Kharif crops in India. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers

By groundreportdesk
New Update
Kharif sowing rises, but uneven rainfall puts pulses, oilseed, cotton crops at risk

The delayed arrival of the monsoon has had a severe impact on the Kharif crops in India. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare statistics, as of June 23, 2023, Kharif crops have been sown on 129.53 lakh hectares across the country, 6.12 lakh hectares less than the last year.

However, compared to the same period in June 2021, the cultivated area has decreased by about 30 per cent (54.87 lakh hectares) this season.

The states most affected by the monsoon delay are Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra and Punjab. Rice is the main crop during the Kharif season, and timely June rains are crucial for its growth. However, due to the lack of rainfall in the rice-producing states this season, the acreage under rice has been reduced.

The website of the Ministry's National Food Security Mission reveals that by the third week of June in the current season, 10,767 lakh hectares had been planted, while in the same period in 2021, 36, had been planted. 02 lakh hectares. Even last year, in 2022, despite the monsoon delay, 16,456 lakh hectares were planted with rice.

The Punjab figures are particularly alarming. As of June 23, 2023, rice has been planted on only 68 thousand hectares, while in 2022 it was planted on 3.57 lakh hectares and in 2021 it was planted on 15.74 lakh hectares.

Farmers in several states have expressed concern about the delay in planting Kharif. Last year they faced difficulties due to lack of rain, but the current season looks even worse.

In Uttar Pradesh, farmers like Narendra Shukla in Barabanki district planted rice nurseries late as they waited for the rains to cool fields affected by the scorching June heat. Delayed planting of rice nurseries causes delayed rice harvest, increased irrigation costs, and damage to nurseries due to excessive heating of water in the fields.

Karnataka, which had expected good rainfall during the pre-monsoon and southwest monsoon, has seen a slowdown in the pace and number of plantings. Out of the total planned area of 82.35 lakh hectares for the Kharif season, 10.59 lakh hectares have been cultivated with rice during the normal monsoon period. Planting data for the third week of June 2023 show a decrease in mixed oilseed planting, particularly peanuts, while cotton planting has increased.

In Maharashtra, farmers like Sunil Babalsure from the Latur region are concerned about potential losses in soybean crops due to delayed planting. The lack of rain has also caused a shortage of fodder for the animals.

In Bihar, paddy fields have cracked due to lack of rain. Planting has not started in many areas and farmers are waiting for the monsoon to start transplanting and weeding. Water scarcity is a major problem, with canals drying up and last year's drought still fresh in his memory.

Odisha has yet to start farming activities for Kharif season due to late monsoon and extreme heat. The scarcity of water and high temperatures have caused a 15-day delay in agricultural activities. Crops such as rice, peanuts, maize, pulses, millet, cotton, ginger, and turmeric are grown during the Kharif season in Od.

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