What’s behind the increased acreage under kharif cultivation

The most up-to-date ‘All India Crop Situation’ report of the Agriculture Ministry displays a enormous enhance in planted acreage for different kharif year crops as of June 26, compared with the same time very last calendar year but it might not be time to rejoice still.

Crops this sort of as cotton, oilseeds, maize and pulses have demonstrated a exceptional enhance in planted location for this time of the calendar year, as can be found from the adjoining facts. If a single went by the past three years’ planting facts, the present year’s figures seem remarkable and, in some sense, too excellent to be legitimate.

To be positive, we have experienced a mixture of fortuitous instances, which includes the India Meteorological Department’s forecast of a standard south-west monsoon, timely onset of monsoon above Kerala and its immediate development so as to include the total region two weeks in advance of standard time.


Moreover, the reservoir place has been satisfactory. It is feasible, due to reverse migration subsequent the nationwide lockdown introduced on March 25, that labour availability in rural India is relaxed, which has accelerated sowing. Cyclones Amphan in the east coast followed by Nisarga in the west coast, too, contributed to soil moisture.

It would be heartening if facts compilation and reporting by the Agriculture Ministry has now become additional efficient and timely than in the earlier but a single does not know. By the second fifty percent of July, we would get a fairly excellent picture of the mixture location underneath cultivation for each and every of the crops.


Whilst a sense of gratification above the development in planted acreage would be in purchase, there is no will need to be euphoric. These are early times.

Seed availability

By the Agriculture Ministry’s personal admission, the availability of soyabean seeds is limited, and so the germination requirements have been calm to enhance soy seed availability. This has spawned a new problem. According to experiences, planting of spurious or outdated seeds has been rampant. This is hazardous as growers are unlikely to witness excellent yields which even if not are somewhat very low (all around one,000 kg a hectare).

The tightness in soyabean seeds’ availability did not happen right away. The Ministry of Agriculture and different study agencies should to have determined the problem months in the past and taken ways to increase seed availability which includes, if desired, via import. The governing administration ought to come cleanse on why and how this was overlooked.

According to the Directorate of Oilseed Development, in Madhya Pradesh, presently forty lakh hectares have been planted to soybean, which is 70 for every cent of the State’s standard location of 56 lakh hectares. Irrespective of extraordinary original acreage, there is no assure soyabean yields this year would even match the standard times.

Whilst some crops like soyabean run the threat of reduced production, in some other folks like cotton, the region could encounter a glut. The production focus on for cotton is 360 lakh bales (170 kg each and every) this year. Shares with general public agencies are about a hundred twenty five-130 lakh bales. So, come October, the region will carry nearly 480-490 lakh bales of cotton with domestic consumption of just about three hundred lakh bales and export prospective customers looking not shiny at all.

There is also the major threat of price ranges collapsing. Already price ranges of maize, cotton and pulses are ruling beneath the minimum amount aid value. Kharif 2020 harvest can probably produce troubles for growers and policymakers.

(The writer is a plan commentator and agribusiness expert. Sights are particular)

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