Summer crop sowing in Gujarat has kicked off on a sluggish note. Sowing of summer groundnut, sesame and pulses has remained much lower as compared to previous year, showed recent data from the state agriculture department.
As per the statistics provided by the directorate of agriculture, Government of Gujarat, total area covered under the summer crops, which are grown in the month of March to June, was registered at 5,51,900 hectares as on March 18, 2013, about 30 per cent lower from 7,73,100 hectares recorded during same period last year.
According to government sources, lesser availability of water for the summer crop has hampered crop prospects this year. "Lesser availability of water for irrigation in some of the key growing regions has adversely affected sowing this year. Groundnut and sesame are worst affected crops," informed a government official.
Crops including groundnut, sesame and pulses were badly hit due to water scarcity in Saurashtra and north Gujarat regions.
Groundnut sowing was recorded at 63,600 hectares during the period as against 168,800 hectares recorded last year, showing a decline of 62 per cent.
Similarly, area covered under sesame was 7000 hectares as against 42,400 hectares during same period last year, down by 83 per cent. Pulses such as urad (black gram), moong (green gram) and maize too reported decline in sowing area.
As per the agriculture department data, summer urad sowing was registered at 300 hectares as against 4800 hectares last year. Sowing of moong was also lower at 16,400 hectares as against 30,300 hectares last year.
Summer crops are grown in places where the water supply is adequate and soil fertility is good. Gujarat's rabi sowing too has been affected due to insufficient monsoon. The rabi sowing was down by close to 20 per cent against last year.
As per the state government data, sowing for the rabi season 2012-13 was registered at 2.98 million hectares, which is lower by 19.66 per cent from 3.71 million hectares reported in the same period last year.