India - Gujarat Kharif Sowing Down 21% On Delayed Rains
Dated- 04 Jul , 2012 - India
Delayed rains have hampered sowing of kharif crops, such as groundnut, cotton and paddy in Gujarat, bringing it down by 21 per cent this season.
According to the state agriculture department, till July 2, sowing was recorded at 949,000 hectares, against 1.2 million hectares in the same period a year ago.
Cotton has been sown on about 537,000 hectares, down from 600,000 hectares in the corresponding period last year. Paddy sowing has not been taken up till now. Kharif crop is sown between May and August.
The India Meteorological Department data shows rainfall deficit between 60 per cent and 90 per cent in most parts of the state. The southwest monsoon usually hits Gujarat by June 15.
“Monsoon is delayed and that has affected sowing. But we are hopeful the rains will come within a week. However, we are ready with a contingency plan if it is further delay. But as of now, there is no need to panic,” said B R Shah, director of agriculture, Gujarat state.
According to Shah, groundnut crop would be affected. However, there would not be any big impact on other crops.
The agriculture department has noted that last week only two per cent area was added to kharif crop sowing.
“Cotton sowing is lower compared to last year. Also, lower prices of cotton this year would prompt farmers to shift to other crops like castor and guar. So, the total cotton acreage may fall by 10-15 per cent this year,” said Arun Dalal, a cotton trader in Ahmedabad.
“The farmers are worried. With further delay in rains, farmers would change their cropping pattern. They may prefer guar, castor and urad or other pulses over groundnut,” said Maganbhai Patel from Bhartiya Kisan Sangh.
Besides, cotton and groundnut, the other major kharif crops include bajra, urad, corn, paddy and guar. This year, there has been a sharp increase in corn and guar cultivation. Corn acreage has increased from 15 hectares last year to over 600 hectares so far this year. Guar has been sown on 115 hectares this year against nil last year.
The Met department has forecast light to moderate rains across Gujarat over the next one-two days.