Ahmedabad: The sudden disruption of the monsoon in Gujarat may not have a huge impact on the kharif season in the state, but the government is certainly worried.
Over 85% of the sowing has already been completed, but officials in the agriculture department say the season may be affected if the break in the monsoon continues for long. Major parts of Gujarat have not received rains for more than a fortnight now.
Sources in the agriculture department say that till now, sowing for the kharif season has been completed in 7.25 million hectares, lower than the annual average of 8.47 million hectares. Among the main kharif crops, cotton and soybean have already crossed the annual their respective sowing averages, while groundnut, paddy, castor, maize, tuar and arhar are still lagging.
Till the week ended 23 July, cotton had been sown in 2.19 million hectares, against an annual average of 2.09 million hectares, while soybean had been sown in 70,000 hectares, against an annual average of 37,500 hectares. “There has been a rise in acreage under soybean cultivation due to higher demand from the edible oil sector. In fact, the demand is high among all edible oils as Gujarat is not self-sufficient in edible oil. Despite this, the sowing of groundnut has been done only in 1.61 million hectares against the average of 1.81 million hectares,” said an official at the agriculture department, who asked not to be identified.
But there could be some relief around the corner. The state’s meteorological director, Kanwaljeet Ray, expects the monsoon to revive in August.