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Sowing of kharif crops picks up with advancement in monsoon: Tomar

New Delhi,  Sowing of kharif crops like paddy has picked up in almost all states with the advancement of the southwest monsoon, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed Parliament on Tuesday. Rains were in excess after its onset in the first week of June, but the monsoon slipped into a hiatus around June 19 due to unfavourable weather patterns. When asked if the government has assessed the impact of delayed monsoon on agriculture produce, Tomar in a written reply to the Lok Sabha said, “…it is too early to determine the impact of delayed monsoon on the agriculture produce”. “However, the monsoon has now covered the entire country. Kharif crop sowing has picked up in almost all major kharif growing states with the advancement of monsoon,” he said. The minister said the Met Department has forecast the southwest monsoon to be normal this year. And the proper distribution of rainfall is more important for normal crop production. India receives about 70 per cent of its annual rainfall during the four-month season (June-September) that is crucial for the country”s agriculture-dependent economy. Till July 23 of the ongoing kharif season, farmers had sown summer crops like paddy in 721.36 lakh hectares, down from 791.84 lakh hectares in the corresponding period of kharif season 2020. The area sown to paddy, the main kharif crop, was down 7 per cent at 207.65 lakh hectare as against 222.88 lakh hectare in the said period, as per the ministry”s data. The minister shared that the government, meanwhile, is implementing several irrigation programmes like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), and Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP). PTI