At a time when sowing in Gujarat is already lagging by 36% as compared to last year, recent heavy rains have raised the spectre of heavy losses to farmers in kharif crops such as groundnut, cotton and paddy.
At a time when sowing in Gujarat is already lagging by 36% as compared to last year, recent heavy rains have raised the spectre of heavy losses to farmers in kharif crops such as groundnut, cotton and paddy. Farmers and agriculture experts fear that waterlogging situation in many parts of Saurashtra and excess rain in south Gujarat may damage the growing plants of kharif crops.
Saurashtra, Junagadh, Somnath, Bhavnagar, Amreli, Rajkot and Jamnagar districts received heavy rains in past two weeks and because of this several places have water logging situation which, according to farmers, is not good for kharif sowing.
“Due to constant rains since last two weeks, groundnut plants have been already damaged and as the water logging in many farms, possibility for re-sowing is nominal. We can not afford more rains at this stage and sunlight is required immediately for the survival of the crops,” said Hareshbhai Kamariya, a farmer from Nani Dhanej village of Maliya (Hatina) taluka in Junagadh district.
According to current estimates, nearly 70% of the groundnut crop has been destroyed in the recent spell of rains in Junagadh district only. Similarly for cotton, the plants have been broken at several places. To add to farmers’ woes, heavy land erosion has also taken place in many parts of Gujarat and as a result, re-sowing may not be possible. Agriculture experts also believe that disease and pest infestation are possible in re-plantation because of soil erosion.
AR Pathak, vice chancellor of Junagadh Agriculture University said, “Present monsoon condition may damage the cotton and groundnut crops most in the state, mainly in Saurashtra area which is cotton and groundnut growing belt.
Moreover, pest and disease possibility cannot be denied in the case of re-sowing due to water logging and land erosion.”
According to data released by the Gujarat agriculture department, as on July 16, total Kharif sowing has been done on 3.87 million hectares this year which was 6.06 million hectare in the corresponding period last year.
The area under groundnut has decreased by 41.47% to 8.77 lakh hectare as against 1.49 million hectares. Similarly, in cotton, sowing has declined to 1.72 million hectares this year as against 2.44 million hectares last year. Sowing of paddy has reached 1.97 lakh hectare so far which was 3.03 lakh hectare last year at this time. The data suggest that plantation of pulses fell by 44.58% to 2.11 lakh hectare as against 3.82 lakh hectare. Area under vegetables has also gone down to 94,244 hectare as against 1.15 lakh hectare.