Fast-advancing monsoon will restore paddy coverage – Agri minister.
There is a little shortage in paddy coverage during the current Kharif season, primarily in eastern India, but it will be recovered as the monsoon progresses quickly, according to Agriculture Commissioner A K Singh.
Paddy has been planted across a substantial area in the southern region, boosted by good and evenly distributed rainfall. There is little cause for alarm in Punjab, Haryana, or western Uttar Pradesh, he says, because seeding is usually done much in advance with the use of tubewell irrigation.
The government has not disclosed the most recent paddy sowing data, but the data available as of July 17 revealed that all-India paddy coverage was down 17.4 percent at 128.50 lakh hectares so far this Kharif season, compared to 155.53 lakh hectares in the same period last year.
The sowing of Kharif crops begins in June, with the arrival of the southwest monsoon. Paddy is a significant Kharif crop. This year’s southwest monsoon is expected to be normal, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
While cumulative rainfall remained 11% higher across the country during the recent monsoon season from June 1 to July 20, there was 14% less rainfall in east and northeast India and 9% less rain in northwest India over the same period, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
According to the agriculture commissioner, ‘I genuinely hope that the sowing situation will return to normal. There will also be recuperation in due order. Rains have begun everywhere, therefore the planted paddy crop should survive.’ He believes there is ‘still time to recover in terms of land coverage under paddy as the monsoon progresses and advances rapidly.’
While there is a little gap in paddy coverage, particularly in eastern India, including eastern and central Uttar Pradesh, he believes the area will recover shortly as rains catch up.
According to the agriculture commissioner, Haryana, Punjab, and western Uttar Pradesh are primarily tubewell-irrigated states. Farmers in this area sow on time and have the resources to protect their crops.
‘Coming to the eastern part, there is some deficiency, but I say it will all be recovered,’ Singh said, adding that the period up to July 15 is a window for typical planting in the eastern section, and a two-three day delay makes little difference.
So far, there is no shortage of paddy covering in the southern region. He noted that the southern states had gotten good and evenly distributed rains and that paddy had been sown on a significant area.
In this location, farmers typically cultivate nurseries on guaranteed irrigation. Some farmers have established a nursery, while others have already begun transplanting. ‘Rain is now falling in this area as well. The place will be cleaned up’ He continued.
At the same time, if farmers are unable to transplant paddy, the agriculture commissioner stated that they can either use the direct seeding rice method or produce maize, an evergreen crop. Farmers can cultivate early mustard and turiya crops if the monsoon is delayed longer, he said.
According to the IMD, there was a 68% deficit in rains in Uttar Pradesh, a 51% deficit in Jharkhand, a 49% deficit in Bihar, a 40% deficit in Manipur, a 30% deficit in Tripura, a 27% deficit in West Bengal, a 22% deficit in Delhi, a 21% deficit in Mizoram, an 18% deficit in Nagaland, and a 16% deficit in Uttarakhand as of July 20.
‘Hopefully, there will be no decrease in output in these states. The rain has now begun. If plants survive with help of tubewell irrigation, they can very easily catch up with regular productivity,’ he stated.