The sowing of key kharif crops - rice and pulses, has taken a hit after 20 out of 36 metrological sub-divisions received scanty rainfall.
Rice has been sown on 9.78 million hectares (as on July 12), about 12 per cent lower than the area in the same period of 2018. Similarly, the sowing of pulses has touched 3.42 million hectares, a drop of 11.5 per cent over the corresponding period of 2018.
Groundnut (oilseeds) and cotton are the only two crops which have seen surplus sowing up to July 12 this year compared with the previous year.
“The current progress in monsoon continues to be gradual with deviation of (-)14 per cent from the normal and reservoir level remaining below the 10 year average during the first six weeks of the current monsoon season partially affecting the sowing patterns and in turn the crop production in the country. The retail inflation in the food components for June 2019 has risen to 13-months high and a weak progress going ahead could push food inflation higher”, the rating agency Care Ratings said in its Monsoon Monitor report on July 15.
In addition, the gradual progress of monsoons has led to delays in the sowing patterns during this period, the report added.
Out of 20 subdivisions which have recorded deficient rains, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi (-55 per cent), Saurashtra Kutch and Diu (-51 per cent) and the Gangetic West Bengal (-47 per cent) are the largest deficient subdivisions. The north, western regions and the south-eastern regions have been the most deficient regions.
On the other hand, east Rajasthan (52 per cent) and West Madhya Pradesh (42per cent) are the largest surplus subdivisions. There are nine sub-divisions which despite showing normal rainfall have a negative deviation of the average rainfall for this period from the normal, the report stated.