India says minimal disruption to farming due to lockdown, 67 percent of sown wheat harvested

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IAC Photo by Parivartan Sharma

India, preparing to partially reopen parts of its economy after a COVID-19 triggered national lockdown, said there had been a minimal impact on harvesting and sowing of crops in the four weeks the country has been shut.

The Agriculture Ministry said in a statement that there were enough farmers in the fields as the central and state governments had ensured there  was minimal or no disruption to harvesting activities and sowing of summer crops.

The government has issued new guidelines that provide flexibility to farming operations, as well as sales of procurement of harvested crops, despite the national lockdown being extended to May 3.

Operations of fisheries has also been allowed and tea, coffee, and rubber plantations can operate with 50 percent of workers among other concessions.

The ministry statement said that upto 67 percent of the 310 lakh hectare on which Rabi wheat was sown had been harvested. 

State wise, harvesting has also increased and reached to 90-95% in Madhya Pradesh, 80-85% in Rajasthan, 60-65% in Uttar Pradesh, 30-35% in Haryana and 10-15% in Punjab. 

Harvesting is at its peak in Haryana, Punjab, UP and is likely to be completed by  the end of this month. 

The ministry provided the following details:

  1. Of the pulses sown in 161 lakh hectare, harvesting has been completed for gram, lentil, urd, mung and field pea. 
  2. For sugarcane, out of the total sown in 54.29 lakh hectare, harvesting has been completed in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Punjab.  
  3. For the states of Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Haryana and Uttarakhand, 92-98% harvesting has been completed. In Uttar Pradesh, 75-80% has been completed and this will continue till mid May 2020.
  4. Rabi Rice sown in 28 lakh ha over the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura and West Bengal is in the initial stages of  harvesting since the grain is still in the filling stage and harvesting times would vary.
  5. Amongst the oilseed crops, rapeseed mustard sown in 69 lakh ha has been harvested in the states of Rajasthan, UP, MP, Haryana, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Punjab, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.. 
  6. Groundnut sown in 4.7 lakh ha, has been harvested to the tune of 85-90%.
  7. As on April 17, summer sowing in the country is 14 percent higher compared to last year during the corresponding period. 
  8. The total summer crop area has increased to 52.78 lakh hectares from 38.64 lakh hectares  as compared to the the corresponding period a year ago. 
  9. The area coverage under pulses, coarse cereals, nutria-cereals and oilseeds has increased to 20.05 lakh hectare from 14.79 lakh hectare as compared to last year during the corresponding period.
  10. Summer rice has been sown in around 33 lakh hectare in the states of West Bengal, Telangana, Odisha, Assam, Gujarat, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala. 
  11. Pulses has been sown in around 5 lakh hectare in the states of Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Punjab, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Telangana.
  12. Oilseeds has been sown in around 7.4 lakh ha in the states of West Bengal, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Bihar.  
  13. Jute sowing has also commenced in West Bengal and has benefited from the rainfall.

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