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.
- 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.
Cropping Seasons in India:
Sowing: In winter from October to December
Harvesting: In summer from
April to June.
Sowing: With the onset of monsoon, June.
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.