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Latest monsoon spell boosts kharif sowing across crops in Gujarat

Sowing on major crops likely to be over 100 per cent of three-year average

Here's how kharif planting gets a monsoon booster across the country

Buoyed by above-normal rains early in September, kharif sowing in Gujarat is set to cross 100 per cent of the three-year average across several crop categories. 

Already, while cereal crops have clocked 99.02 per cent sowing, that of oilseeds is at 98.24 per cent. Prominently, cotton production is set to get a boost this year, with sowing already over 100 per cent.

In the last three years, kharif sowing in Gujarat has received a tremendous boost from an above-normal monsoon this year. The state has so far received total rainfall of 926.59 millimetres (mm) or 113.5 per cent of its long-period average (lpa) of 816 mm. 

As against a rainfall of 109 mm and 222 mm in June and July this year, the monsoon in Gujarat brought 446 mm of rainfall in August and 150 mm in the first week of September.

As a result, kharif sowing of cereals has touched an area of 1.34 million hectares, which is 99.02 per cent of the three-year average of 1.35 million hectares. The total area under oilseeds stands at at 2.34 million hectares or 98.24 per cent of the three-year average of 2.38 million hectares.

Other crops such as cotton, tobacco, guar seed, vegetables and fodder have already crossed 100 per cent with sowing on 4.2 million hectares or 101.05 per cent of the three-year average of 4.16 million hectares. 

Only pulses have seen a sub-optimal kharif sowing so far. Total kharif sowing of pulses in the state stands at 394,429 hectares or 68.05 per cent of the three-year average of 579,645 hectares.

The latest spell of rains has led the state government to issue a 'high alert' on more than half its dams and reservoirs, which have filled 90 per cent. As per the state water resources department, 114 dams and reservoirs out of a total 204 have been put on 'high alert'.

Meanwhile, the upcoming rabi (winter) sowing is also expected to get a boost from healthy monsoon this year, especially in the conventionally arid regions of Gujarat such as Kutch and Saurashtra. Kutch has received 42 per cent more rain, at 570 mm, than its normal average of 401 mm. Saurashtra got 746 mm, or 13 per cent more than its (long period average (LPA) of 663 mm. 

Going forward, this is set to boost rabi sowing of major crops like wheat, maize, pulses, mustard, cumin and sugarcane, among others.