Tripura reports less sowing
By Our Correspondent, 10/09/2017, Agartala

Prices of foodgrains and pulses could increase from early next year as floods and rain had taken a toll on Kharif crops with a sharp decline in sowing of rice, arhar, and urad among others. This is coupled with a new trend being seen in Punjab and Maharashtra, where farmers shifted their crops from rice to cotton and sugarcane. The sowing of rice in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Punjab has declined due to deficient of monsoon. In Bihar over 20 districts are affected due to flood and crops damage report are still awaited.According to data released by the Agriculture Ministry, total sowing area under Kharif crop is 1041.17 lakh hectares in 2017-18 as compared to 1049 lakh hectare in 2016-17. Incidentally, the Centre’s forecast is of a bumper food grain production at 275.68 million tonnes in 2017-18.As per data, sowing of rice is reported about 371.46 lakh hectare area in 2017-18 as compared to 376.89 lakh hectare in 2016-17. Karnataka, Assam, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Tripura, Telangana, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand have reported less sowing of rice this year.

The data shows sowing of pulses have declined from 144.84 lakh hectare in 2016-17 to 139.17 lakh in 2017-18. The sowing of arhar is reported decline by 18 percent this year while sowing of other pulses declined by 27 percent. As per data, Arhar sown only 42.81 lakh hectare of land as compared to 52.19 lakh hectare in 2016. As per reports, farmers have shifted their crops from pulses to cotton. Besides, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat have reported pulses acreage less this year.The sowing of arhar and urad are declined in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Farmers in Maharashtra and Punjab have shifted their crop from arhar to cotton this year. Earlier, the farmers were forced to sell their arhar dal below the Maximum Sale Price (MSP).

If the trend of lower planting of arhar persists, India could be back to scouting for the pulse in countries like Myanmar and Mozambique like it did during 2015-16 when a severe drought cut domestic output. Officials feel that if the trend of lower planting persists, the retail prices of pulses and rice is expected to be higher in the coming days. In Punjab and Maharashtra, farmers have shifted from rice to other crops.According to reports, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tripura, Odisha, Maharashtra, have reported less sowing this year in the ongoing Kharif season.Sowing operation in the kharif season begins normally with the onset of the south-west monsoon and picks up pace from July. Paddy, tur, moong, urad, soyabean, sunflower seed and cotton are the main crops grown during this season.