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Above normal rainfall farmers have sown record 1,095.37 lakh hectares

Mumbai,  With above normal rainfall during the monsoon, farmers have sown record 1,095.37 lakh hectares so far , though output of cereals like rice and maize is likely to be impacted, according to the National Bulk Handling Corporation”s first kharif crop estimates for 2020-21.

Total 19 states and union territories have received normal rainfall this year, while nine states and union territories saw excess rainfall, NBHC said in a statement.

In the post monsoon phase, most parts of Maharashtra have received moderate to heavy rainfall due to cyclonic disturbance, it added.

NBHC said that in the preliminary reports by the commissioner of agriculture it was mentioned that crops over 4.5 lakh hectares were damaged in the rains and standing crops of soybean, maize, sugarcane and tur reported damage.

“Total rice is expected to show marginal improvements in area by 6.74 per cent but production is likely to decline by 2.20 per cent than last year. Maize acreage is expected to increase by 2.31 per cent but still we are expecting a 5.71 per cent lower crop size because heavy rain is seen affecting yield of the standing crop in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka,” NBHC Head – Research and Development – Hanish Kumar Sinha said.

Area of jowar is expected to decline 1.17 per cent despite increase in production by 1.22 per cent and Bajra acreage is expected to increase marginally by 3.71 per cent but production is expected to fall by 14.40 per cent, he added.

In the pulses sector, acreage and production of tur is expected to increase by 9.78 per cent and 5.48 per cent, respectively, due to good crop conditions so far in the major growing states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana and Jharkhand, NBHC said.

Urad area is expected to increase by 1.47 per cent, whereas production is expected to increase by 45.38 per cent because even if in some places the crops have been damaged, alternatively there has been an increase in the sowing area as well, Sinha added.

“We expect the area under moong to increase by 19.70 per cent whereas the production is expected lower by 3.91 per cent mainly due to crop damage in major producing states,” Sinha opined.

In the oilseeds sector, he said, excess rains in central India are expected to dampen the prospects of a record harvest for kharif oilseeds, mainly soybean and groundnut.

Soybean acreage is expected to improve by 8.17 per cent but the production is expected to reduce by 15.29 per cent due to heavy rains in September and October in major growing areas which has diminished hope of normal crop, he added.

Groundnut acreage is expected to rise by 38.61 per cent but the production may fall 14.69 per cent.

Further, he said castor area and production is expected to decline 11.51 per cent and 23.74 per cent.

Meanwhile, in this current monsoon season, the cash crop section is likely to show an overall positive scenario, he opined.

The area for cotton is expected to go up by 4.17 per cent but production will decline by 4.06 due to damages caused by excess rains in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, he pointed out.

Sugarcane area and production are expected to grow 2.19 per cent and 2.72 per cent, respectively because of higher production in Maharashtra and Karnataka, the second and third largest cane producing states, he added. PTI