Context: According to the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Indian farmers have planted 49.9 million hectares with summer (Kharif) crops, down 10.4% from a year earlier.

Ministry Data:

  • Planting of rice, the key summer crop, was at 11.5 million hectares as of 9th July 2021 versus 12.6 million hectares in the previous year.
  • The area planted with cotton was at 8.6 million hectares versus 10.5 million hectares for the same time period.
  • Planting of overall oilseeds, including soybean, was at 11.2 million hectares, down from 12.6 million hectares for the same period.

Reason Behind such fall in plantation:

  • Monsoon rains taper off after a strong start in June 2021.
  • Farmers typically start planting summer-sown crops on June 1, when monsoon rains usually reach India. 
  • Planting then continues until early August.
  • India has received 5% below average rainfall since June 2021, when the four-month rainy season began
    • Monsoon rains were 46% below average in the week to 7th July 2021.

Monsoon so far in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh:

  • Just for the month of June 2021, the deficiency was much higher at: 
    • 81.3 per cent in Punjab, 
    • 77.7 per cent in Haryana and 
    • 90.9 per cent in Chandigarh.

What happened after the early monsoon?

  • The monsoon was early in the region after a gap of 13 years.
    • Usually, the rain takes a week-long break in the monsoon season due to unfavourable air pressure.
  • With the break extending well over a couple of weeks now, the region has witnessed a heat wave with temperatures 5 to 7 degrees above normal.

The reason behind the monsoon break been so extended:

  • The monsoon clouds usually take 25 to 30 days to reach the Northern region.
  • In 2021, it reached the region in 10 to 12 days, which is half the time.
  • Indian Monsoon:
    • Moreover, Monsoon in the region comes through two branches: 
      • From the Arabian Sea and
      • From the Bay of Bengal. 
    • It travels in the shape of the alphabet ‘C’. 
    • It covers the region from two sides. 
    • This time due to the fast progress from one branch of the monsoon got disturbed and led to an unusual longer break.
  • The pulsatory movement of the monsoon was very high in the beginning and then it came down very fast and turned weak.

Importance of rain at the moment:

  • Punjab and Haryana sow water-guzzling rice crops on 43 lakh hectares (1.06 crores acres) in June. 
  • And the first two months of the crop are quite crucial when transplanting consumes huge quantities of water. 
  • The field in which transplantation takes place has to be tilled with standing water and continuously irrigated for two months to ensure a proper crop. 
  • With more than 80 per cent of this area receiving deficit rainfall, the paddy crop could be impacted.

Related Facts

Cropping Seasons in India:


Rabi Crops

Kharif Crops

Zaid Crops


Time period

Sowing: In winter from October to December

Harvesting: In summer from

April to June. 

Sowing: With the onset of monsoon, June.

Harvesting: September-October.

In between the rabi and the Kharif seasons.





Major Crops Cultivated 

Northern States: Wheat, Gram, Rapeseeds and Mustard, Barley


Southern States: Rice, Maize, Ragi, Groundnut, Jowar.

Northern States: Rice, Cotton, Bajra, Maize, Jowar, Tur.


Southern States: Rice, Maize, Ragi, Jowar, Groundnut.

Northern States: Vegetables, Fruits and fodder crops.


Southern States: Rice, Vegetable and Fodder

More about Indian Monsoon.