The sowing of Kharif season crops has come to a standstill due to the deteriorating monsoon mood. Agriculture has started getting affected due to drought-like conditions in the northwestern regions of the country. Above normal rainfall in the northeastern regions along with the eastern states has stopped the sowing of pulses and oilseeds. Due to this, the sowing of Kharif season is trailing by about 11 percent as compared to last year. The southwest monsoon rains have been below normal between June 1 and July 7 this year, which has a direct impact on the cultivation of the Kharif season.
The Meteorological Department has forecast that in the current season, the monsoon may gain momentum by next week, due to which the sowing of stalled crops can be accelerated. But the monsoon rains in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana have been negligible so far. Drought-like conditions have started developing in these states. Due to this, along with the cultivation of coarse cereal crops, the sowing of pulses and oilseed crops has been reduced to the minimum.
The cultivation of these crops is generally dependent on monsoon rains. More or less, the same has been the case in the southern region as well. In the ongoing monsoon season 2021-22, the eastern states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Bengal have experienced a significant increase in soil moisture due to above normal rainfall. Due to this, the sowing of crops is not possible.
A total of 49.90 million hectares has been sown in the current Kharif season, which is about 11 percent less than the 55.8 million hectares in the corresponding period last year. The sowing of coarse cereals crops dependent on rain has been reduced by 15 percent. While the planting of paddy is behind by 11.26 percent. In the eastern states which have received more rainfall, paddy has been cultivated in those states.
The Meteorological Department says that from next week, the monsoon clouds will cover the country evenly, which can lead to good rains. After this, Kharif cultivation will pick up the pace. 60 percent of the country's agriculture is dependent on the southwest monsoon-based rains, as adequate irrigation facilities are not available in those areas. The Agriculture Ministry claims that due to this indifference of monsoon, the cultivation of Kharif season will not be affected much. Good rains in the coming weeks will boost agricultural activities. This time the area of oilseeds and pulses may increase further along with paddy.