Maharashtra: Only 1% of sowing took place so far due to scarcity of rainfall
The situation on the agriculture front as of now is grim due to lack of adequate rains reported so far in Maharashtra. As per the agriculture department data, only 1% sowing took place. The department in its advisory has urged the farmers not to start sowing operations till the rainfall of 75 to 100 mm is received in their respective areas.
There has been no rains or less rainfall in 18 of the 36 districts. As of June 17, sowing took place on 1,47,000 hectare which is a paltry 1 per cent. Generally by mid-June sowing takes place on 54 lakh hectare but it did not happen this year as only 90 mm rainfall was recorded so far against 120.4 mm last year. The decrease in soil moisture due to prolonged moisture has also been a matter of concern.
‘’As the third week of June draws to a close, sowing is only 1% across the state. Against the estimate of sowing on 155 lakh hectares, it has been completed on 1, 47,000 hectare for want of rains. The area under kharif season cereals in the state is up to 36.37 lakh hectares, oilseeds (groundnut, sesame, sorghum, sunflower, soybean) 41.58 lakh hectares and cotton 42 lakh hectares. The department based on the Indian Weather Bureau’s predictions expects rainfall to pick up and only after that the sowing operations will gather momentum,’’ said a senior agriculture department officer. He told the Free Press Journal, ‘’The state has recorded minimal pre-monsoon rains and on top of it the progress of the south west monsoon is quite subdued. In view of this, soil moisture has drastically reduced and due to this even sown seeds do not germinate.’’
The officer said sowing operations will go to waste unless the field produces three to four inches of moisture. ‘’This may force farmers to go in for double sowing which will not be a viable proposition. Therefore, farmers have been told not to rush into sowing now but wait till their respective areas receive rainfall of 75 to 100 mm,’’ he added.
According to the agriculture department, the districts with less rainfall in June included Nanded, Parbhani, Hingoli, Dhule, Nandurbar, Solapur, Sangli, Aurangabad, Jalna, Beed, Latur, Osmanabad, Buldana, Washim, Yavatmal, Wardha, Nagpur and Chandrapur districts. As the rainfall in these districts is less as compared to last year, sowing has been delayed.
The officer said during the Kharif season 2021-22, sowing was completed on 155.15 lakh hectares. The production of cereals, pulses, oilseeds, cotton and sugarcane decreased by 11%, 27%, 13%, 30% and 0.4% respectively of the previous year. The state had received 118.2 per cent of the normal rainfall during monsoon 2021. In the state, 287 talukas received excess rainfall while there was normal rainfall in 146 talukas and deficient rainfall in 22 talukas.