October 22, 2020

Scanty rain hits rice farmers in Bihar, UP

Scanty rain hits rice farmers in Bihar, UPDespite prediction of normal monsoon this year, things are not looking good as far as eastern and North-eastern parts of the country are concerned. Several parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, two main States of paddy crop, are facing drought-like situation due to shortage of rainfall.

According to Agriculture Ministry data, compared to last year rice has been sown in 68 per cent less area in Bihar while UP has witnessed 35 per cent less area sowing under rice cultivation till date. Rain deficiency in Bihar is at 49 per cent whereas UP has recorded 48 per cent less rainfall in Eastern and Western parts.

Meanwhile, the IMD on Sunday forecast heavy rainfall in Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Gangetic West Bengal, North Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Vidharbha (Maharashtra).

The warning came due to a depression formed in the northwest Bay of Bengal. The country has received 319.2 mm rainfall against the normal of 328.4 mm till date.

The IMD data shows 64 out of 72 districts in UP have so far recorded deficient or large deficient rainfall, the precipitation was at least 20 per cent less than the normal in 33 out of 38 districts in Bihar till date.

Officials of Agriculture Ministry said the drop in acreage has been highest in Bihar due to shortfall of rain during monsoon.

In Bihar, rain deficiency has been recorded from 20 per cent to 84 per cent in 33 districts which Arariya, Arwal, Aurangabad, Begusarai, Bhabua, Bhagalpur, Bhojpur, Buxar, Darbhanga, Gaya, Gopalganj, Jehanabad, Jamui, Katihar, Khagria, Purnia, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur, Saran, Sheikhpura, Sheohar and Lakhi Sarai.

Similarly, Allahabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Amethi, Azamgarh, Ballia, Balrampur, Basti, Faizabad, Fatehpur, Gazipur, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Hardoi, Jaunpur, Kannauj, Kanpur, Kushinagar, Lucknow are among the districts in UP, which is facing drought-like situation and have received less rainfall ranging from 20 to 75 per cent till date.

Not only Bihar and UP, but Jharkhand, Gangetic West Bengal and North Eastern States except Mizoram and Tripura have received 20 to 46 per cent less rainfall than normal as of June 1 which led to decline in sowing of rice in the kharif crop season.

So far, total kharif planting has taken place over 631 lakh hectare as against 696 lakh hectare covered in the corresponding week in the previous season.

The cumulative shortfall in kharif sowing lingers around 9 per cent compared to the same period last year.

West Bengal, the country’s largest producer of rice, has received 28 per cent below-normal rainfall. The fall in acreage area of rice is 30 per cent this year. Bardaman, Birbhum, Paschim Medinapur, Purulia, Nadia, Mursidabad, Howrah and Hugli are among districts to have received deficient rainfall that impacted the rice cultivation.

Jharkhand also witnessed a less acreage of area under rice cultivation due to shortfall of rain this year. The State has received 40 per cent less rain till date and districts like Bokaro, Chatra, Devgarh, Dhanbad, Garhwa, Dumka, Latehar, Koderma, Khunti,Pakar, Palamu are drought like situation.

Officials said due to delay in rainfall, kharif crops sowing has been delayed by 20-30 days in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

Along with paddy, poor rain distribution has also affected sowing of pulses such arhar, moong and urhad as well as impacted sowing of maize in some of these States. The Agriculture Ministry said in pulses, the total acreage is 17.63 per cent less than last year’s, mainly due to fall in area under urad and moong in Madhya Pradesh. The area under arhar cultivation is less than 10.78 per cent this year as compared to last year. Similarly, the fall in moongbean sown area less is 29 per cent less this year.

Besides, five northern eastern States have received deficit rainfall this monsoon, are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalya, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland. In Assam, too, the area under paddy is around 23 per cent less than that of last year and 13 districts are facing drought like situation. The rain fall deficiency is 35-40 per cent till date. Manipur received 69 per cent deficit rainfall while the depreciation in rainfall in Arunachal Pradesh during the period has been 32 per cent, Meghalaya has deficiency of 42 per cent rainfall while Nagaland has 38 per cent deficient rainfall.

Courtesy: The Pioneer

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