Monsoon is an important factor for India as the domestic economy is largely dependent on agriculture. The onset and distribution of the rainfall is tracked closely each year as it decides on the India’s food security as nearly 80 per cent of the food production comes from Kharif season. Amount of rainfall and its distribution across major producing belts will decide on food size of the country for that particular year.
In 2020, the South West monsoon, which is lifeline of Indian economy, sets its footprint on June 1, 2020, its official entry date through Kerala. After setting on normal date, its progress was fast to cover the entire country. The monsoon covered entire country on June 26, 2020, much ahead of its normal date of July 15, 2020. With early coverage across the country, the agricultural activities are at full speed despite of Covid-19. Timely rainfall across the country has been encouraging farmers to go with aggressive sowing activities. All India acreage under total Kharif crops surged by 88 per cent YoY to 432.97 lakh hectares as on July 3, 2020, as per data released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. The acreage under pulses almost tripled to 36.82 lakh hectares against last year’s planting of 9.46 lakh hectares. Amongst the pulses, acreage under arhar increased by 494 per cent to 16.56 lakh hectares as the major growing belts have received bountiful rainfall. Further, higher price for arhar in the current season and hike in MSP for it by Rs300 per quintal to Rs6,000 per quintal has been encouraging farmers to increase acreage under arhar cultivation. Likewise, other pulses also saw bigger jump in acreage compared to last year. Coarse cereals acreage increased by 101 per cent to 70.69 lakh hectares with biggest jump seen in jowar followed by bajra and maize. Next to pulses, the second biggest rise in acreage was seen in oilseeds which rose by 225% YoY to 109.20 lakh hectares. Here also good rainfall and sharp hike in MSP is attracting the farmers. Soybean has seen jump in acreage by four times compared to last year to 81.81 lakh hectares. Cotton acreage doubled as on July 3, 2020.
It is projected that the rainfall would be good throughout this monsoon season, which would lead to better yield and rise in production thereby making India self sufficient on many food crops. July and August month rainfall is very crucial for overall growth the Kharif crops. Higher acreage is putting pressure on the prices of the commodities.