India: Kharif planting gathers steam in last leg due to fresh spell of rains

  • Kharif crop planting has been done on 94% of the arable land, with last phase of planting picking up in rain-fed parts of the country boosted by fresh spells of rains across western, central and southern India in the past one week.
  • However, the planting is still marginally lower on a year-on-year basis. Planting covering 99.6 million hectares so far this season is 1.28% less y/y, data from the Agriculture ministry showed. Total area to be planted this kharif season is estimated at 105.8 million hectares.
  • Coarse cereals, cotton, rice and pulses have seen a fall in acreage, while oilseeds and sugarcane have reported an increase.
  • Monsoon data showed rains were 7% below normal since 1 Jun 18. Still, India’s 91 major reservoirs held 28% more water y/y and 7% higher than the 10-year average at 101.286 billion cubic metres suggesting better water availability for crops after the monsoon ends.
  • Officials say that in parts of the country where farmers will have to go for replanting of crop due to excess rain or deficit rain, farmers will now go for planting of sturdy short duration crops like pulses and coarse cereals.
  • Bajra, the major coarse cereal planted in the summer months, saw a drop along with ragi and small millets. Jowar and maize saw a slight increase in planting on a year-on-year basis. Meanwhile, farmers have opted more for oilseeds, particularly soya bean.

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