Mumbai: India’s monsoon has revived over some of the biggest cotton, oilseeds and rice-growing areas, spurring sowing of crops delayed by below average rainfall so far this month, the weather office said.
Maharashtra, one of the largest cotton-growing states in the country, and Andhra Pradesh, the second biggest rice producer, received rains overnight, A.B. Mazumdar, deputy director general at the India meteorological department, said by phone. “We hope the new spell will last a few days,” he said.
Big contribution: A woman works in a cotton field. Photograph by Aijaz Rahi / AP
The June-September monsoon, which accounts for four-fifths of the nation’s annual rainfall, was below average in the first two weeks of this month, delaying sowing of crops including rice, maize, cotton and soya bean.
Showers in July account for one-third of the rainy season and are crucial for sowing of crops.
Farmers planted cotton in 5.8 million ha as of 18 July, 17% lower from a year earlier, while maize was sown on 4.1 million ha, compared with 4.26 million ha, according to the agriculture ministry.
The area under oilseeds was little changed at 10.1 million ha.
Planting of rice was increased after the weather office in April forecast normal rains this year. The lack of rainfall this month threatens rice planted on 14.9 million ha, 23% more than a year earlier.