A delayed and deficient monsoon so far has slowed summer crop sowing, with the area sown remaining nearly 8 per cent lower than in the previous year.
So far, rainfall has been almost 42 per cent less than normal across the country - its worst performance since 2014, according to the IMD.
By June 14, the monsoon should have reached central India. But this year it hasn’t even covered Karnataka properly or entered the Northeast.
According to the kharif sowing data released by the Agriculture Ministry on Friday, the area sown so far was 82.20 lakh hectares (lh ) compared 90.34 lh during the corresponding week in 2018-19.
Much of the planting covered by sugarcane and cotton, which were sown over 49.21 lh and 15.32 lh respectively as against 50.44 lh and 16.92 lh in the same period last year. The rice plantingwas 22 per cent lower than that in last year, with area covered so far being 4.26 lh. The cultivation of coarse cereals stood at 5.28 lh, 26 per cent lower than 7.13 lh covered in the corresponding week last year.
Planting of maize has taken place in 3.01 lh against 4.51 lh in corresponding period last year. The sowing of both pulses and oilseeds too just crossed 1 lh area and lagged much behind that area covered during the same period in 2018-19.
Meanwhile, water storage in major reservoirs in the country during the week plummeted by 1 per cent to 29.19 billion cubic metres, or 18 per cent of the total storage capacity.
The worst affected seems to be the western region where the water storage was 10 per cent as compared to 13 per cent during the corresponding week last year.