The delayed monsoon has slowed down the initial kharif sowing in Gujarat, which is down by about 80 per cent on a year on year basis. According to state agriculture department data, as on June 20, overall sowing has reached 274,300 hectares as against 1.34 million hectares in corresponding period of 2015.
Cotton and groundnut, which are the main kharif crops in Gujarat, have seen huge fall in sowing this year. Groundnut has covered 38,400 hectares area this year as against 370,900 hectares and cotton sowing was done on 175,500 hectares against 762,900 in last year.
"Beginning of kharif sowing is lower as monsoons have been delayed in the state. Farmers are waiting for the first showers. Sowing activity will gear up across the state once the rains set in," said a senior official of Gujarat agriculture department.
According to agriculture department data, area of cereals has declined by 92 per cent to 6,100 hectares from 78,200 hectares. Maize, which was sown on 50,900 hectares in 2015, has covered nil area in this year. Jowar too is down. Only paddy sowing has started and covered 5,600 hectares as against 18,900 hectares last year.
With delayed monsoon, water scarcity is also one of the reasons for the current sowing scenario. Saurashtra, Kutch and North Gujarat do not have enough water available because of weak monsoons in 2015.
In pulses, only tur sowing has started this year. Farmers have sown tur on 15,200 hectares as against 19,200 hectares. The state has witness downfall of 45 per cent in pulses sowing. Last year it had covered 27,600 hectares and this year only 15,200 hectares covered under pulses.
Area of oilseeds also has declined by 90 per cent this year to 38,700 hectares as against 392,400 hectares. Sesame seed and soyabean has covered very negligible areas so far.
Source : Business Std