– Photo: Amar Ujala.
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Agriculture and food policy experts have said that there has been a slight decline in the production of Kharif crop due to erratic rains this monsoon season. However, this is unlikely to increase inflation or affect food security. Experts believe that India has enough reserves to deal with it.
However, he also said that individual farmers have been affected the most due to uncertain monsoon. Many farmers have not yet received help from the state governments.
The Union Agriculture Ministry released the forecasts on Wednesday. According to this, the production is likely to go up to 104.99 million tonnes due to poor rains in the major rice producing states. Rice production last year was 111 million tonnes.
According to government data, the area under paddy, the main crop of the summer season, has come down to 3.99 crore hectares. Last year it was 4.17 crore hectares.
According to meteorologist Mahesh Palawat, due to monsoon, there has been excess rain in South and Central India, while less rain has been recorded in East and Northeast India. He said the projected decline in rice production is linked to the lack of rain in the Indian Gangetic plains.
The meteorologist said that due to late September rains, farmers are reporting damage to soybean, urad and maize crops in parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Harvesting of crops has been delayed in these areas. He, however, said the ongoing rains and delayed monsoon would help the farmers of Uttar Pradesh in sowing mustard.
Till September 22, Uttar Pradesh has received 33 per cent below normal and Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal have received 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 15 per cent less rainfall, respectively. Till July 15, the rainfall deficit in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal was 65 per cent, 42 per cent, 49 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively. Whereas Gujarat has received 31 per cent more rainfall since June 1, while Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have received 26 per cent and 24 per cent more rainfall.
According to Palawal, the lack of heavy rainfall in the IGP is unusual and can be attributed to climate change.