New Delhi: The agri-research body ICAR on Saturday
said sowing of paddy crop is unlikely to be affected adversely
as monsoon rains are expected to reach the northern parts of
the country by July 10.
"Monsoon rains have picked up since yesterday. By July
10, it will cover the northern region and the paddy crop will
not be adversely affected," Indian Council of Agricultural
Research (ICAR) Director General S Ayyappan told PTI on the
sidelines of a mango festival here.
The monsoon rains though started in time on May 31 have
not advanced since June 18 when they covered half of the
country. India Meteorological Department says the annual rains
have been 16 per cent below normal for this season, mostly due
to sluggish progress.
Ayyappan said the country would receive more than normal
rainfall as forecast by weather officials.
Monsoon rains are crucial for kharif crops as 60 per cent
of the Indian agriculture is rain-fed. In case of paddy, over
40 per cent of 43 million hectare of paddy area is rainfed.
According to the official data, farmers are estimated to
have sown paddy in an area of about 46.46 lakh hectare till
June, against 45.43 lakh hectare in the same period last year.
Farmers undertake planting of paddy and other crops in
the kharif season (summer) with the onset of South West
Monsoon and continue till September.