What’s behind the increased acreage under kharif cultivation

The most up-to-date ‘All India Crop Situation’ report of the Agriculture Ministry exhibits a significant boost in planted acreage for different kharif time crops as of June 26, when compared with the exact same time very last yr but it might not be time to celebrate still.

Crops these kinds of as cotton, oilseeds, maize and pulses have revealed a extraordinary boost in planted area for this time of the yr, as can be noticed from the adjoining knowledge. If one particular went by the previous 3 years’ planting knowledge, the present-day year’s figures look exceptional and, in some sense, also superior to be legitimate.

To be confident, we have had a mixture of fortuitous instances, which include the India Meteorological Department’s forecast of a normal south-west monsoon, well timed onset of monsoon about Kerala and its fast progress so as to deal with the whole state two months in advance of normal time.


Furthermore, the reservoir place has been satisfactory. It is probable, owing to reverse migration following the countrywide lockdown introduced on March twenty five, that labour availability in rural India is relaxed, which has accelerated sowing. Cyclones Amphan in the east coastline followed by Nisarga in the west coastline, also, contributed to soil humidity.

It would be heartening if knowledge compilation and reporting by the Agriculture Ministry has now grow to be a lot more economical and well timed than in the past but one particular does not know. By the next fifty percent of July, we would get a moderately superior photo of the aggregate area under cultivation for each of the crops.

Planting developments very last 4 years (lakh hectares)

Crop 26.06.20  2019  2018   2017

Cotton  71.7        27.1     twenty.7    24.seven

Oilseeds eighty three.3        thirteen.3      5.0      nine.nine

Pulses    19.4         6.0       5.9      seven.8

Maize     31.3        fifteen.7      11.7  11.8

Although a sense of gratification about the progress in planted acreage would be in get, there is no want to be euphoric. These are early days.

Seed availability

By the Agriculture Ministry’s possess admission, the availability of soyabean seeds is restricted, and so the germination expectations have been relaxed to boost soy seed availability. This has spawned a new challenge. According to studies, planting of spurious or out-of-date seeds has been rampant. This is unsafe as growers are not likely to witness superior yields which even usually are relatively small (all around 1,000 kg a hectare).

The tightness in soyabean seeds’ availability did not transpire right away. The Ministry of Agriculture and different research organizations should to have identified the challenge months back and taken techniques to augment seed availability which include, if desired, by means of import. The authorities will have to come thoroughly clean on why and how this was missed.

According to the Directorate of Oilseed Improvement, in Madhya Pradesh, currently 40 lakh hectares have been planted to soybean, which is 70 per cent of the State’s normal area of fifty six lakh hectares. Inspite of extraordinary original acreage, there is no warranty soyabean yields this time would even match the normal moments.

Although some crops like soyabean operate the threat of lower output, in some some others like cotton, the state could encounter a glut. The output focus on for cotton is 360 lakh bales (170 kg each) this time. Stocks with public organizations are about a hundred twenty five-a hundred thirty lakh bales. So, come October, the state will have practically 480-490 lakh bales of cotton with domestic use of just about three hundred lakh bales and export prospective clients seeking not bright at all.

There is also the significant threat of price ranges collapsing. Now price ranges of maize, cotton and pulses are ruling underneath the minimum amount aid selling price. Kharif 2020 harvest can perhaps develop difficulties for growers and policymakers.

(The author is a plan commentator and agribusiness professional. Sights are own)

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