Kharif production likely to decline by 53% due to heavy post-monsoon showers: NBHC

The country’s kharif food production could be much lower than the Centre’s first advance estimate of a marginal fall. Heavy post-monsoon showers are a key reason.

The production of coarse grains, pulses, oil seeds and sugarcane is expected to decline in the summer season of 2019-20 due to late monsoon and erratic and heavy rains later, according to a report.

In the current assessment, coarse grains, pulses, oil seeds and sugarcane have marginally pushed themselves further in the negative region with an expected decline of 14.14 per cent, 14.09 per cent, 53.31 per cent and 11.07 per cent over the last estimate, respectively, according to a report by the National Bulk Handling Corporation (NBHC).

The monsoon rains this year had been 110 per cent over its long term average (LPA) with maximum in central India followed by southern Peninsula, northwest and northeast, respectively.

The real deterrent for the kharif crop came with post monsoon rains, which exceeded by 32 per cent and had maximum impact in the northwest region (121 per cent excess) and the central India region (64 per cent excess).

According to the report, rice production in 2019-20 is expected to decline marginally by 8.21 per cent over the last year while maize is expected to decline significantly by about 11.86 per cent over the last year.

However, jowar is likely to improve by 1.07 per cent over while Bajra is expected to decline by 1.98 per cent.

Production of moong is projected to drop significantly by 27.38 per cent over last year, urad 18.38 per cent and tur by 10.47 per cent mainly due to crop damaged in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.

Therefore, in the current year, there is going to be a significant shortfall in overall kharif pulses availability owing to long spell of unseasonal rains in October and November, the report opined.

Total oilseeds (soybean, groundnut, castor seed, sunflower, sesame and niger seed) production is estimated to be 162.18 lakh tonne, which is 23.78 per cent lower than the last year’s production of 212.77 lakh tonne.

Soybean output is expected to dip significantly by 32.27 per cent and groundnut is expected decline by 9.57 per cent due to excess rains in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra towards the end of monsoon.

Other oil seeds like sunflower to dip by 30.61 per cent and sesame by 21.48 per cent.

In the cash crops, sugarcane output is estimated to drop significantly by 21.98 per cent while cotton is expected to increase marginally by 3.28 per cent owing to favourable growing conditions, it added.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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