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AGRICULTURE

Rice production may decline 2.20% than last year: NBHC’s Kharif Estimates
Friday, 23 October, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
India witnessed ‘Above Normal’ rainfall at 109 per cent (95.4 cm) of the long period average (LPA) this year against long period average of 87.7 cm based on data of 1961-2010. In three of four months, June (118 per cent), August (127 per cent) and September (104 per cent) witnessing above normal rainfall, while July recorded (90 per cent) deficient rainfall. Division wise the east and northeast India, central India and south India have received above normal rainfall and northwest India division has recorded deficient rainfall.

Good rains have boosted sowing of the kharif crops which farmers have sown in record 1095.37 lakh hectare as on date as compared to 1085.65 lakh hectare a year ago. Nineteen states and Union territories have received normal rainfall this year, while nine states and Union territories saw excess rainfall. Bihar, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Lakshadweep islands have recorded above normal rainfall. Sikkim recorded large excess rainfall.
However, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir have recorded deficiency. Ladakh has recorded large deficiency. Delhi has also received deficient rainfall. The total live storage in 123 important reservoirs in different parts of the country, monitored by CWC on week ending 16.10.2020 was 148.459 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM) (87 per cent of the storage capacity at Full Reservoirs Level (FRL) against 152.024 (BCM) (89 percent of the storage capacity at FRL) during corresponding date of pervious year and 128.887 (BCM) (75 per cent of the storage capacity at FRL) which is the average storage of the last 10 years.

In the last few days, in the post-monsoon phase – winter rains, most parts of Maharashtra have received moderate to heavy rainfall due to cyclonic disturbance in a well-marked low-pressure area over South Madhya Maharashtra and adjoining areas. Heavy to extremely heavy rain was reported from most parts of the state with districts of Pune, Solapur, Osmanabad, among others, reporting flash floods as well. Preliminary reports by the commissioner of agriculture stated that crops over 4.5 lakh hectare were damaged in the rains. Standing crops of soybean, maize, sugarcane and tur reported damage.

The latest IMD forecast indicates cooling of sea surface temperatures will most likely continue and weak La Niña conditions will likely turn into moderate La Niña conditions during the coming months and sustain till early next year. No cyclone has developed this October yet. But the depression over north interior Karnataka and adjoining areas of Maharashtra moved west-north westwards and weakened into a well-marked low-pressure area over south Madhya Maharashtra.

The current low-pressure system had initially formed over the west central Bay of Bengal on October 11. It had crossed the north Andhra Pradesh coast and made landfall over north Andhra Pradesh, following which it moved west north-westwards and weakened into a depression the same day. The system has already caused extremely heavy rain (over 20 cm) over coastal Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, etc. Keeping in mind the above developments, here are NBHC’s First Kharif Crop Estimates for 2020-21.

Total Rice is expected to show marginal improvements in area by 6.74 per cent but production is expected to decline by 2.20 per cent than last year. A smaller crop last year forced India to import maize after a gap of two years. The country imported about 500,000 tonne maize in 2019-20 (Apr-Mar) to meet the requirement of the poultry industry. This kharif season, acreage is expected to increase by 2.31 per cent but still it is expected a 5.71 per cent lower crop size because of heavy rain is seen affecting yield of the standing crop in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka both key growers of kharif maize. Area of Jowar is expected to decline by 1.17 per cent despite increase in production by 1.22 per cent and Bajra acreage is expected to increase marginally by 3.71 per cent but production is expected decline significantly by 14.40 per cent.

In the pulses sector, acreage and production of Tur is expected to increase by 9.78 per cent and 5.48 per cent respectively due to crop condition is good so far in the major growing states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana and Jharkhand. Urad area is expected to increase by 1.47 per cent whereas production is expected to increase significantly by 45.38 per cent because even if in some places the crops have been damaged, alternatively, there has been an increase in the sowing area as well. We expect the area under Moong is increase by 19.70 per cent whereas the production is expected lower by 3.91 per cent mainly due to crop damage in major producing states.

In oilseeds sector, excess rains in Central India are expected to dampen the prospects of a record harvest for kharif oilseeds, mainly soyabean and groundnut. Soybean acreage expected to improve by 8.17 per cent but the production is expected significantly lowered by 15.29 per cent due to heavy rains in September and October in major growing area which has diminished hope of normal crop. Groundnut acreage expected to improve by 38.61 per cent but the production is expected significantly lowered by 14.69 per cent.

Castor area and production is expected to decline by 11.51 per cent and 23.74 per cent. The decline in production is expected to the tune of 8.00 per cent and 14.89 per cent for Sesamum and Sunflower respectively.
 
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