What’s behind the increased acreage under kharif cultivation

The most recent ‘All India Crop Situation’ report of the Agriculture Ministry reveals a enormous increase in planted acreage for different kharif year crops as of June 26, as opposed with the identical time previous calendar year but it may not be time to celebrate still.

Crops such as cotton, oilseeds, maize and pulses have proven a extraordinary increase in planted area for this time of the calendar year, as can be noticed from the adjoining information. If 1 went by the previous a few years’ planting information, the present year’s figures surface excellent and, in some feeling, too good to be correct.

To be absolutely sure, we have experienced a mixture of fortuitous instances, together with the India Meteorological Department’s forecast of a standard south-west monsoon, well timed onset of monsoon in excess of Kerala and its fast development so as to go over the entire state two weeks in advance of standard time.

 

On top of that, the reservoir place has been satisfactory. It is attainable, thanks to reverse migration subsequent the countrywide lockdown introduced on March 25, that labour availability in rural India is snug, which has accelerated sowing. Cyclones Amphan in the east coastline followed by Nisarga in the west coastline, too, contributed to soil dampness.

It would be heartening if information compilation and reporting by the Agriculture Ministry has now turn into extra successful and well timed than in the earlier but 1 does not know. By the 2nd 50 % of July, we would get a fairly good photo of the aggregate area underneath cultivation for every single of the crops.

Planting traits previous four many years (lakh hectares)

Crop 26.06.20  2019  2018   2017

Cotton  seventy one.7        27.1     twenty.7    24.7

Oilseeds 83.3        13.3      five.0      9.9

Pulses    19.4         six.0       five.9      7.eight

Maize     31.3        fifteen.7      11.7  11.eight

Whilst a feeling of fulfillment in excess of the development in planted acreage would be in purchase, there is no have to have to be euphoric. These are early days.

Seed availability

By the Agriculture Ministry’s own admission, the availability of soyabean seeds is limited, and so the germination requirements have been peaceful to increase soy seed availability. This has spawned a new dilemma. According to reports, planting of spurious or out-of-date seeds has been rampant. This is risky as growers are not likely to witness good yields which even normally are instead very low (around one,000 kg a hectare).

The tightness in soyabean seeds’ availability did not materialize right away. The Ministry of Agriculture and different study agencies should to have discovered the dilemma months back and taken methods to increase seed availability together with, if necessary, by way of import. The government must arrive cleanse on why and how this was disregarded.

According to the Directorate of Oilseed Growth, in Madhya Pradesh, already 40 lakh hectares have been planted to soybean, which is 70 for every cent of the State’s standard area of fifty six lakh hectares. Inspite of remarkable initial acreage, there is no assurance soyabean yields this year would even match the standard occasions.

Whilst some crops like soyabean operate the possibility of decreased production, in some others like cotton, the state could facial area a glut. The production focus on for cotton is 360 lakh bales (a hundred and seventy kg every single) this year. Stocks with community agencies are about 125-130 lakh bales. So, arrive Oct, the state will have virtually 480-490 lakh bales of cotton with domestic usage of just about 300 lakh bales and export prospects on the lookout not shiny at all.

There is also the big possibility of rates collapsing. Already rates of maize, cotton and pulses are ruling under the least support value. Kharif 2020 harvest can potentially produce problems for growers and policymakers.

(The author is a coverage commentator and agribusiness professional. Sights are particular)

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