Pune: Crops cultivation is affected in Maharashtra due to lower than expected rainfall in the state. Also sowing activity has either slowed down or crops are on the verge of getting damaged because the window for harvesting has already passed.
According to the news report published in Hindustan Times, the Maharashtra agriculture department, after conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the prevailing conditions, has expressed kharif crop production might get affected in the state. The primary factor contributing to this concern is the inadequate amount of rainfall experienced in various regions, leading to a potentially adverse effect on crop yields.
According to data shared by the state agriculture department, the sowing of kharif crops for the year 2023 has been carried out on approximately 140.14 lakh hectares, which accounts for approximately 99 percent of the targeted area. However, the prolonged absence of rain in key regions such as Marathwada, north Maharashtra, and Konkan has resulted in nearly damage condition to crops, making the prospect of re-sowing unfeasible.
Sunil Chavan, the agricultural commissioner of Maharashtra, pointed out that the state has received only 83 percent of the expected rainfall between June 1 and August 30 this year. During this period, the recorded rainfall stands at 677 mm, falling short of the anticipated normal rainfall of around 815 mm.
Chavan highlighted that a there are 385 talukas in the state which recorded zero rainfall in the last 21 days and 496 tehsils have no rainfall activity from last 15 to 21 days. The rainfall scarcity have raised concerns about the viability of sustaining healthy kharif crop growth and yields in the state for the current season.
Dhananjay Munde, the Minister of Agriculture in Maharashtra, has evaluated the drought-like conditions prevalent in the Marathwada region. In his assessment, he stated that out of the eight districts constituting Marathwada, only Nanded and Hingoli have been relatively fortunate in terms of receiving better rainfall.
Elaborating on the measures being taken, Munde emphasized that due to the diminished rain activity, directives have been issued to the concerned department to vigilantly monitor water storage levels. Additionally, strategic planning is being undertaken to ensure the availability of fodder for livestock, given the challenges arising from the precipitation deficit.