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India's Kharif season pulses output set to drop; excessive rains damage crops in Maharashtra

24 Jul 2022 9:40 am
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Mumbai, 24 Jul (Commoditiescontrol): India is staring at kharif pulses output drop for the current year, as incessant rains witnessed this month in Maharashtra, country's second largest pulses producer, has caused extensive damage to standing crops. As per the state agriculture ministry, standing Kharif crops of 800,000 hectares spread across 24 districts, mostly in Marathwada, Vidarbha, Nothern and Central regions of Maharashtra, have been damaged by excessive water in the field.

Paddy, corn, soyabean, cotton, tur and banana crops and other vegetables have been heavily damaged, according to the state agriculture department.

“Preliminary reports assessing the damage through July 21 show 796,218 hectares of agricultural land have been affected,” said a state agriculture department official.

Half the damage has been reported by Marathwada alone. Hingoli and Nanded districts have seen heavy damage.

Marathwada division has registered losses on 377,870 hectares of land. Over 100,000 farmers have been affected. Around 4.8 million hectares of land is cultivated in the division, out of which 4.1 million had been sown before the rains.

About 1.2 million hectares were planted with cotton and soyabean on 2 million hectares. It is estimated that about 80 per cent of the crops are damaged.

Akola, Amravati, Yavatmal, Wardha, Nagpur, Bhandara, Gadchiroli and Chandrapur in Vidarbha region have also suffered heavy losses, along with Pune and Nashik in western and north Maharashtra. In these region pulses crops such as Tur, Urad, and Moong are cultivated on a large scale. Last year total production stood at 1,463,292 tonnes, of which Tur production stood at 1,190,836 tonnes, Urad - 142,383 tonnes and Moong - 130,073 tonnes.

Maharashtra produced 42.24 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) of pulses during 2021, as per the 3rd Advanced Estimate. Total production in the country stood at 255.75 LMT. The western states production accounts for 16.5% of the total production. This suggests of magnitude in crop loss and possible decline in country's total output.

Meanwhile, the state agriculture department is still to assess the total damage, but loss of pulses would be highly detremental to the markets as we are already sitting on tight stock conditions and with the ensuing festival season, the demand outlook remains strong.

The official said paddy, cotton and soyabean had been affected the most. Groundnut, sugarcane, turmeric and jowar crops were destroyed too.

Marathwada has also lost a lot of cattle — 522 animals across eight districts. As many as 40 people have also died due to extreme weather conditions.

The state agriculture department official said it is too early to estimate the losses in terms of revenue.

Aurangabad in Marathwada received 326 millimetre of rains, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD). This is 104 mm more than the average rainfall in the region.

Parbhani has recorded 487 mm rainfall — a deviation of 199 mm. Akola in Vidarbha region has received 700 mm of rainfall, which is a departure of 423 mm.

Pulses prospect....

India made a remarkable progress in enhancing production of pulses during the past 15 years. During 2005-06, the total production of pulses in India was 13.38 million MT, which increased to 25.58 million MT during 2020-21. This shows an impressive growth of 91% or a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.42%.

During 2020-21, chickpea or chana had a lion’s share of 49.3% in the total pulses production. Among remaining pulses, pigeonpea (Tur/Arhar) contributed 16.2%, mungbean 10.3%, urdbean 9.3%, lentil 4.9% and other pulses 9.9%. During the past 15 years, the highest growth in production was observed for mungbean (178%), followed by chickpea (125%), urdbean (90%), pigeonpea (51%) and lentil (34%).

This is a big leap by India towards attaining self-sufficiency in pulses. This has been possible because of the recent mission mode approach adopted by the country in boosting pulses production.

To increase the production of pulses the National Food Security Mission - Pulses (NFSM - Pulses) programme is being implemented in 644 districts of 28 States and Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

Under NFSM-Pulses, incentives are given to the farmer for cluster demonstration, seeds distribution & production of certified seeds of High Yielding Varieties (HYVs), farm machineries/tools, efficient water saving devices, plant protection chemicals, nutrient management, soil ameliorants and training to the farmers.

Rainfall in July, seems to have watered-down part of production in Maharashtra, but also India's fourth straight year of robust pulses output. Pulses are consumed as Dal, which is a cheap source of plant protein.

(By Commoditiescontrol Bureau: +91-22-40015505)

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