Deficient rains impact kharif sowing in Gujarat, 24 pc dip
Ahmedabad: Deficient rains have impacted the kharif season`s sowing in Gujarat, with the acreage going down by nearly 24 per cent, at 45.55 lakh hectares (ha).
"The total sowing under kharif this season has reached 45.55 lakh ha so far, compared to 60 lakh ha a year ago," an agricultural department official said.
The total acreage under kharif crop (by season end) last year was 89.43 lakh ha. The sowing lasts till mid-August, while crops such as castor and tobacco are sown as late as till September.
According to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Gujarat had 64 per cent deficient rainfall so far, with Saurashtra and Kutch region reporting 77 per cent deficiency.
A significant dip in the acreage of oil seed crops (castor and groundnut) has been reported, at 11 lakh ha so far, against 16 lakh ha in the corresponding period a year ago. Groundnut has been sown in 9.88 lakh ha till now.
Acreage of castor in the state has shrunk to 22,000 ha, compared to 1.5 lakh ha in the comparable period a year ago, the official said.
The total acreage under groundnut last year was over 14.33 lakh hectare; 8.72 lakh ha under castor. Gujarat accounts for 17-19 lakh MT of groundnut production annually.
The rain pattern has been somewhat erratic in the state for the past two years. After a slight delay in onset of monsoon, it starts in July, and turns intermittent thereafter.
"Rain gradually progresses and sowing begins to pick up. We expect a similar situation this year," the official said.
"Against an expectation of 200 mm rainfall in Saurashtra it has been not even 100 mm so far," Gujarat`s Relief Commissioner P K Parmar said. In Kutch, 9 mm rainfall has been recorded.
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