The week-long dry spell during monsoon has the state government worried as it is likely to impact the overall expenditure and production of agricultural produce. The IMD has predicted recurring dry spells during the monsoon in Maharashtra.
The state has so far recorded 54 per cent sowing of kharif, a lower figure attributed to the delayed monsoon, which hit the state on June 25.
In the last four-and-a-half years, Maharashtra has witnessed an erratic pattern in rains wherein, after an initial spell, there are long gaps ranging from 15 to 21 days, which is detrimental for crops.
The chairman of the Maharashtra Agriculture Price Commission, Pasha Patel, said, “The dry spell after kharif sowing in monsoon does not auger well for the farmers and agriculture sector. There are two possibilities. The absence of water will dry the crops. As a result farmers will have to go for second sowing. This would increase their overall expenditure.” Second possibility is in absence of consistent rain, crops growth will retard. This would impact the overall production and quality yield, he observed.
The delayed monsoon has lead many to believe the rains are likely to continue till September. Therefore, agriculture officials have been repeatedly cautioning farmers to carefully choose the period of sowing.
State Agriculture Minister Anil Bonde said kharif sowing has been carried out on 80.61 lakh hectares land (54 per cent of the total usual allocation). Out of 355 talukas, 92 have recorded 100 per cent rain, while 17 registered 50 to 75 per cent rain.