Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005
Agri-Biz & Commodities - Cultivation
Sowing of kharif crops continues to lag behind
Chennai , July 19
SOWING of various kharif crops, barring bajra, sugarcane and jute, continues to lag behind compared with the corresponding period last year due to the delay in the onset of the monsoon. The Agriculture Ministry, however, expect things to improve in the next couple of weeks.
Oilseeds crop seems to have borne the brunt as far as the delay is concerned with only 56 per cent of the normal 149.36 lakh hectares (lh) area being covered till July 15.
According to an Agriculture Ministry statement, groundnut coverage is down to 27.80 lh from 36.31 lh during the same period last year. Though soyabean coverage has picked up, it is still down at 43.99 lh (48.99 lh).
Sunflower sowing is down to nearly 50 per cent of last year, while coverage of sesamum, castor and niger all trail behind.
Also, the small-scale presence of leaf eating caterpillar in Maharashtra is a cause for worry. However, it is below the economic threshold level.
Rice sowing is down to 90.64 lh (122.32 lh), while cotton coverage is down mainly on decline in area under the crop in Maharashtra. Delayed monsoon has been cited as the reason for this.
Sowing in sugarcane and jute is up marginally.
Pulses seem to be the worst hit in terms of coverage, while coarse cereals sowing is up mainly because growers have switched over to bajra fearing poor monsoon coverage.
Among pulses, sowing of arhar and urad are down by almost 50 per cent at 10.65 lh and 4.66 lh respectively. Moong coverage has slid about 25 per cent, but moth sowing is up at 2.67 lh (0.13 lh).
Meanwhile, the storage level of water in the 76 major reservoirs in the country is up 32 per cent over the last year and is 24 per cent higher than the average level in the last 10 years.
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