The South West monsoon will be coming to an end, and so will the kharif sowing activity. Since its beginning in June, monsoon wasn't encouraging although it slightly picked up in June and July. Overall monsoon in June and July was deficit affecting the sowing activity. However, the monsoon revived in August but the incessant rains affected the crops. The final acreage number for kharif 2019 reveals that the area under kharif crops was down at 1,029.50 lakh hectares compared to 1,035.70 lakh hectares planted last year. Acreage under paddy cultivation declined by 2.79% YoY to 365.69 lakh hectares due to water scarcity in June and July while pulses acreage dropped by 1.95% YoY to 130.04 lakh hectares amid higher MSP for pulses.
Lower return from cultivation of pulses in the last season as well as lower prices that prevailed across major markets during sowing season prompted the farmers to reduce their acreage under pulses cultivation. Coarse cereals acreage has shown an increase of 1.61% YoY led by ragi and maize. Oilseeds acreage remained more or less same as that of last year. Major jump in acreage was witnessed in cotton, which increased by 6.57% YoY thanks to higher prices that farmers received last season due to lower crop size.
The author is head of research, Karvy Comtrade