India has reported the best monsoon rainfall in the last six years which has also led to a better kharif acreage in this season. As of 24th July 2020, India has reported rainfalls at 6% higher than above the long period average (LPA) and has also reported 800 lakh hectors area coverage under kharif crops, which is nearly 75% of the total normal kharif sowing area for the season. This has been 18.5% higher than the previous financial year 2019-20, a CARE Ratings report said on Monday. “Till 24th July 2020, the Kharif acreage has been higher in all major crops when compared with the same period last year,” the report said. As the country continues to face the headwinds of coronavirus pandemic, a better agricultural growth may also support GDP growth.
On an individual crops basis, pulses sowing has been 26% higher than last year, rice acreage has been 17% higher, oilseed sowing has soared by 25% of last year’s levels and cotton sowing has also been higher at 22.5% at 118 lakh hectares. Sugarcane and jute mesta sowing has also shown a nominal increase by 1% and 1.5% respectively. The July and August rainfall are crucial to the sowing of Kharif crops as farmers sow various crops in the season. Other than monsoon rainfall, water reservoir level is also a major contributor to the sowing activities. Apart from healthy monsoon rain, India has also reported higher reservoir levels this year as compared to previous year.
“The progress in the month of August too is critical. A good kharif harvest may be expected this year based on these trends which will provide a lot of support to the growth of GDP which will have to contend with negative growth in several other sectors,” the report said. Out of 36 Indian sub-divisions, nearly 80% have received excess to normal rainfalls during 1st June to 22nd July. 18 sub-divisions have witnessed normal rainfalls and only seven subdivisions have reported deficient rainfall as on 22nd July, 2020. The region which reported excess rainfall also got flooded.