Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, May 24, 2003
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Climate & Weather
Area under cotton, sugarcane declines Pre-monsoon rainfall 5 pc below normal
CHENNAI, May 23
A FIVE per cent below normal pre-monsoon rainfall has affected sowing of kharif crops, especially sugarcane and cotton.
According to the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC) figures, cotton sowing till May 14 was down by over 30 per cent at 1.95 lakh hectares (lh) against 2.9 lh during the same period last year. The normal area under cotton, mainly grown as kharif crop, is 42 lakh hectares.
Sowing has begun in the northern regions of Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab. Cultivation, in particular, has been affected in Haryana, where the coverage is lagging by nearly one lh.
Sugarcane sowing, too, declined albeit marginally to 32.44 lh from 32.71h. This is against the normal area of 42 lakh hectares during kharif.
According to DAC,sowing in Uttar Pradesh has been almost at par with last year's acreage. Sowing in Maharahstra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh is also normal. However, acreage in Tamil Nadu has been lagging behind.
As regards jute and mesta, the area coverage has been almost the same as last year at 3 lh. The situation is the same with coarse cereals such as bajra, jowar and maize besides oilseeds.
Incidences of pests and diseases have also been under control.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Crop Weather Watch Group, which reviewed the rainfall since March 1, found that 19 of the 36 meteorological sub-divisions in the country had received excess rainfall.
In the rest, the rainfall has been deficient or scanty.
Last week, only six of these 36 sub-divisions received excess to normal rainfall, while 19 sub-divisions received deficient rainfall.
In 11 sub-divisions, there were no rains.
Water levels in the reservoirs were also a matter of concern with the storage being only 13 per cent of the full reservoir level of 133.66 billion cubic metres. Compared to last year, this is six per cent less.
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