Agri Min expresses concern about delayed planting of kharif crops

New Delhi, July 8 () The Minister of Agriculture, Narendra Singh Tomar, expressed concern about the delay in planting due to poor rains, but said there is still time for planting Kharif crops (planted in summer).

The Center is in contact with the states to jointly address the situation if there is a situation similar to that of a drought.

The delay in planting Kharif crops is a cause for concern. There is still time for farmers to complete planting operations, said Tomar told reporters on the sidelines of the conference of Ministers of State Agriculture held here.

The area under Kharif crops has decreased by 27 percent to 234.33 lakh hectare until last week of the Kharif season in the course of the 2019-20 (July-June) harvest, compared with the last 319.68 lakh hectares in the same period last year.

We are in contact if there is a drought situation, we (the center and the States) will work together, said Tomar.

When asked about the expected Kharif crop production, he said it is too early to comment.

The Department of Meteorology of India (IMD) has projected good rains in July and August that could boost planting operations.

The sowing of kharif crops begins with the start of the southwest monsoon, which arrived late this year delaying the sowing operation and the precipitation remained deficient by 33 percent, according to data from the IMD.

Rice, the main kharif crop, was planted at 52.47 lakh hectares until last week, compared to 68.60 lakh hectares in the same period of the previous year.

Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh, among others, recorded less area.

Legumes, especially tur, urad and moong, were planted in an area well below 7.94 lakh hectare compared to 27.91 lakh hectare, while coarse grains were planted at 37.37 lakh hectare versus 50.65 lakh hectare last year, according to the data.

Less area was reported under pulses from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, among others.

In the case of oilseeds, the area planted with peanuts, sunflower and soybean was lower by 34.02 lakh hectare up to last week compared to 59.37 lakh hectare in the same period of the previous year.

Among cash crops, sugarcane was planted at approximately 50 lakhs per hectare so far about 51.41 lakh per hectare covered in the same period of the previous year.

The planting of cotton and jute was also delayed. The area sown for cotton cultivation was lower at 45.85 lakh per hectare so far, compared to 54.60 lakh in the same period of the previous year. The data showed that jute was sown only at 80 lakh per hectare compared to 7.15 lakh in the same period. MJH SHW SHW