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Sunday, September 19, 2021

‘Satisfactory rainfall’: Maharashtra farmers aim for a bumper harvest as neighbouring states reel under deficit

Soybean farmers are especially confident of a bumper crop with the state reporting an all-time high of sowing on 45-lakh hectare of land.

Written by Partha Sarathi Biswas | Pune |
August 31, 2021 11:26:06 pm
Despite an on-time arrival, the progress of monsoon has been anything but encouraging this year. (Express Photo)

Unlike his counterparts in a few other states, which are reeling under rainfall deficit, Ganesh Nanote is not unduly worried about his crop. This farmer from the village of Nimbhara in Barshitakli taluka of Akola district of Maharashtra grows cotton on 10 acres and soybean over 25 acres of land. “There have been dry spells, but the rains have been more or less satisfactory. With the monsoon reviving in the last few days, I am confident of a bumper production this year,” said Nanote who also grows banana, urad and tur over the rest of his holding.

Nanote is the not the only one. With most districts of the state, with the exception of Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Amravati, Bhandara, Gadchiroli and Gondiya, receiving either normal or excess rainfall, farmers in Maharashtra are hopeful of a decent kharif harvest.

Soybean farmers are especially confident of a bumper crop with the state reporting an all-time high of sowing on 45-lakh hectare of land.

Yuvraj Patil, a farmer from the village of Shelgaon in Adhrapur taluka of Nanded district, has taken 15 acres of land for soybean farming. He said he is satisfied with his crop condition, thanks to the more or less regular rains his fields have seen.

This is in contrast with what Nanote has heard about moisture-stress affecting cotton and pulses crop in neighbouring states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

Despite an on-time arrival, the progress of monsoon has been anything but encouraging this year. Long, dry spells have left farmers worried, and in many parts of the country, rainfall deficit has brought farmers on the verge of losing their crop. Rains had all but disappeared from late June while July reported a 10 per cent total dip in rainfall.

Already, farmers in Rajasthan have written off their moong crop, with the state reporting a 30 per cent dip in production. Rains have been more or less absent from the desert state — which is the largest moong producer in the country.

As on August 30, the country has received 637.2 mm of rainfall as against the 703.7 mm it is supposed to receive — a 9 per cent deficiency.

In contrast, Maharashtra has received 822.8 mm of rainfall as against the normal of 816.2 mm – an excess of 1 per cent. Week-by-week rainfall activity report shows that overall the state has received adequate to excess rainfall; only Vidarbha and Madhya Maharashtra have seen continuous dry weeks.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted revival of rainfall in the next few weeks, which would be beneficial for the crops.
“Now, everything depends on the next few months — if the rainfall continues to be good we will see a bumper harvest,” said Patil.

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