Due to rain deficit, crop sowing in Gujarat sees fall

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After normal rainfall, crop sowing in Gujarat should have been on 25 lakh hectares till June 27, but this year it was just on 19 lakh hectares. It is just 22 percent of the total sowing of the Kharif (monsoon) season, it is six percent less than last year, shows the state agriculture department’s weekly data.

In Gujarat, monsoon sets in around June 15 every year. Till June 20 this year, the sowing was 10,29,422 hectares, it was 11.27 percent of season’s total sowing, however it was five percent higher than 2021’s sowing till June 20, which was on 6,89,472 hectares.

Agriculture In-charge Director S. J. Solanki and Additional Director Rajput were busy in meetings and not able to comment on the sowing trends.

Cotton sowing till this Monday was on 10,85,894 hectares, it is one lakh hectare less than last year while groundnut sowing stood at 6,87,565 hectares, it is three lakh hectares less than last year till June 27.

However, soybean sowing in the state has increased because of the good price it fetched last year, said Harsad Gohil, senior journalist covering the agriculture sector. In 2021 till June 27, soybean sowing was 41,229 hectares, whereas this year it has increased by 2,000 hectares, touching 43,398 hectares. This time overall soybean sowing may cross 1,57,974 hectares figure of last year.

Considering the slowing rain in the current week, Gohil said even this weak sowing is likely to fall, it may be 25 lakh hectares, but he is hopeful that by second and third week of July, sowing will take a jump as the state expects the rain to resume by the second week.

This year advance sowing was on 2.5 lakh hectares of land in the first week of June, majority of these farmers have their irrigation sources like tubewell and wells, but water level in these areas too has depleted and there is shortfall of rain, because of this crop is at risk, said Ramesh Bhornia, agriculture journalist.

Season’s total rainfall in the state is average 850 millimeters till June 27 while it received 59 MM rainfall, it is just seven percent of the season. Of 242 talukas, 138 talukas have received average 20 to 35 MM rain, six talukas have not received a single raindrop, as per Revenue Department datas.

According to the Irrigation Department records, water storage in 270 small and big dams is 37 percent of its total capacity, it is just 11 percent in North Gujarat’s 17 dams while water storage in Saurashtra’s 141 dams is 22 percent. These are the areas that receive average less rain than central and south Gujarat.

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