Sunday, July 22, 2012

Delay in monsoons to affect summer crops

Though last year's ample rainfall contributed to a bumper crop production, the delay in the monsoons this year is likely to affect the normal growth of summer crops, according to a report.
Outlook for the 2012 summer crops such as paddy, maize, millet, buckwheat and seasonal vegetables is so far normal, but the delay in the monsoons combined with insufficient pre-monsoon rainfall is expected to adversely affect the growing maize and summer vegetables, particularly in the hill and mountain belts where rain-fed agriculture is more common, according to a joint report prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture Development, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and World Food Programme (WFP).
Moreover, shortage of chemical fertilisers across the country will likely affect the plantation of major summer crops like paddy, indicating a decline in summer crop production as compared to last year. The report estimates 2011-12 winter crop production at 1.85 million metric tonnes (MT), and 350,000 million MT for wheat and barley respectively, representing an increase of 5.7 per cent and 14.9 per cent as compared to last year.
The overall 2011-12 cereal crop production shows an increase of 9.8 per cent to 9.46 million metric tonnes as compared to 8.62 million MT last year. As a result, the country has been able to produce a surplus of 17.2 per cent of the total requirement of edible cereal crop production amounting to 886.3 MT, whereas, last year the surplus was 443,100 MT which is nine per cent of the requirement.
An increase in the 2011-12 crop production is mainly attributed to the timely and adequate precipitation across the country during the plantation and growing period, and relatively timely availability of seeds and fertilisers, as compared to previous years, according to the report.
The overall situation of winter crops such as wheat and barley is generally good across the country. The production of wheat, which is the major winter crop in terms of total quantity produced, has increased by 5.7 per cent to 1.84 million MT, while the production of barley — the second major winter crop — has increased by 14.9 per cent to 34.73 metric tonnes this year as compared to last year.
Despite the overall good harvest, most of the far and mid-western hill and mountain districts are reportedly deficit due to their relatively low productive land with marginal increase in crop production.

Rising production
2007-08 — 7.32
million metric tonnes
2008-09 — 8.06 million metric tonnes
2009-10 — 8.11 million metric tonnes
2010-11 — 8.61 million metric tonnes
2011-12 — 9.45 million metric tonnes
(Source: Crop Situation Update, July 2012)

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