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Uneven rains impact rice sowing, area under crop shrinks by 2 mn hectares

Rice has been sown on 50 million hectares as on August 23, about 23% lower than area covered during same period last year

BS Reporter  |  Bhubaneswar 

Farmers, Paddy field, agriculture

Excess in 20 per cent of the 36 meteorological sub-divisions is impeding crop sowing patterns in the country. Though sowing across key crops as of August 23 has improved, concern remains around the sowing of rice, the key kharif crop, which has seen more than two million hectares contraction from a year ago period.

Rice has been sown on 50 million hectares as on August 23, about 23 per cent less than area covered during the same period last year.

Of the 36 metrological sub-divisions,29 have recorded excess and normal , of which seven sub-divisions recorded “excess” while remaining 22 recorded normal rainfall.

Out of the 22 sub-divisions that received normal rainfall, 14 have recorded negative deviation from normal rainfall.

"Despite almost three months of rainfall during this season, seven sub-divisions continue be deficient. There have been equal numbers of sub-divisions (seven each) which have recorded both excess and deficient rainfall. The concern revolves around these sub-divisions, as both excess or deficiency could adversely impede sowing and cropping patterns," CARE Ratings said in its latest Monsoon Monitor report.

The report said while excess rainfall in some regions is a positive for reservoir and groundwater levels it could destroy production of certain crops.

Combination of excess rainfall and deficient rainfall in almost 40 per cent of all the sub-divisions could weigh on food inflation going ahead. The sowing patterns position of all crops have been below the normal and compared with the previous year primarily on account lower sowing recorded in rice. This could be partly attributed to the deficient rainfall in West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, which are the large producers of rice, CARE Ratings said.

First Published: Wed, September 04 2019. 19:07 IST