Tue, 04 Oct 2022

New Delhi [India], August 10 (ANI): Farmers in India have sown less paddy this Kharif season. Going by the latest acreage data, the area under paddy cultivation is over 13 per cent lower than the previous Kharif season.

Kharif crops are mostly sown during monsoon -June and July, and the produce is harvested during October and November.

As of July 29, farmers have sown paddy across 23.15 million hectares in comparison to 26.70 million hectares in the previous season.

The primary reason for the decline in the sown area is the slow advancement of the monsoon in the month of June and of its uneven spread in July in most parts of the country.

Rice-producing states such as West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Telangana, Odisha, Chattisgarh, Assam, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Haryana, among others saw less sowing. Many of these states also witnessed deficit rainfall this year.

Overall Kharif sowing, however, has been relatively better.

It is just 2 per cent lower than 2021 at 82.34 million hectares. In 2021, total sowing was across 84.16 million hectares, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare data showed.

The government has reiterated that there is no shortage of wheat stock in the central pool. In a written reply to Lok Sabha recently, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said: "As on 01.07.2022, the actual stock of wheat is 285.10 Lakh Metric Tons (LMT) against the Buffer norm of 275.80 LMT.

But many worry that less area under paddy under cultivation may lead to low production of the foodgrain this year, which may come as a double whammy for India.

In May 2022, the Centre amended the export policy of wheat by putting its export under the "prohibited" category on possible risks to food security.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has led to a declining supply and a spike in prices of staple food grain.

Wheat production in Ukraine is expected to decline 41 per cent or 13.5 million tonnes year-on-year in the 2022-23 season to around 19.5 million tonnes, the US Department of Agriculture in its latest report said.

Reports suggest farming and trading of wheat in Ukraine have been impacted ever since Russia's invasion of the country earlier this year.

Ukraine and Russia are two major suppliers of wheat and its global prices have risen substantially in recent months. Prices in India too are buoyant and are currently trading above the minimum support price. (ANI)

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