The delay in planting kharif is not a cause for concern; will recover when the plantation is still underway: Agri Min official
New Delhi, September 1 () The current delay in the area planted with kharif crops, especially rice and legumes, is not a major cause for concern, as planting is still underway in the eastern states and in many areas affected by floods, according to a senior official of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The area sown for most kharif crops will be recovered since the planting window is until September 15 and the total production of kharif will be according to the objective, the official added.
The sowing of kharif crops (summer) begins with the beginning of the southwest monsoon from June and the harvest begins from October onwards.
The Ministry of Agriculture has set the objective of producing food grains at a record 291.1 million tons for the 2019-20 harvest year (July-June), which comprises 147.9 million tons in the Kharif (summer) season and 143.2 million tons during the rabi season (winter).
The planting area is lagging marginally as of now, but that is not a cause for concern. The paddy rice plantation will continue until September 15 in the eastern states. In the areas affected by the floods of Assam and Bihar, the transplant is performed in an area where the water receded, the official said.
According to the latest data published by the Ministry of Agriculture, rice has been planted in 354.84 lakh hectares until last week of the kharif season of the 2019-20 harvest year, less than 372.42 lakh hectares in the same period of the previous year.
The area under pulses was also reduced to 127.99 lakh hectares compared to 131.54 lakh hectares in that period.
The official said: The sowing of minor pulses and short-lived pulses still continues. The surface will be larger.
The area under the main kharif crops will be recovered and overall production is expected to be according to the objective. There will be no production deficit, the official said.
When asked about the projections of kharif production made by private agencies, the official said: There are many private agencies that have begun to project agricultural production before completing the planting. The government has its own system and we follow it. We work in the interest of farmers.
Obtaining planting data at the block level is not an easy task for the government. It takes time and sometimes there is a delay of a week or ten days. Therefore, planting data should be read taking these things into account, the official explained.
According to the data, oilseeds have been sown in 170.78 lakh hectares until last week of this year's kharif season, against 171.15 lakh hectares in the same period last year.
Coarse grains were sown in 171.74 lakh hectares compared to 171.73 lakh hectares in that period.
Sugarcane has been planted on 52.41 lakh hectares until last week of this season of kharif compared to 55.47 lakh hectares a year ago, while jute/mesta was planted on 6.84 lakh hectares against 7.20 lakh hectares in that period.
However, cotton has been planted in a higher area of 124.90 lakh hectares until last week of this season of kharif compared to 117.66 lakh hectares in the same period last year. The total area sown under the harvest of kharif is approximately 1,009.50 lakh hectares, less than 1027.17 lakh hectares in that period. LUX