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Oilseeds, pulses planting falls sharply due to weak rainfall.

Date: 08-07-2019
Subject: Oilseeds, pulses planting falls sharply due to weak rainfall
New Delhi: Plantation of oilseeds and pulses, which India imports heavily, has fallen sharply because of weak rainfall till now but this can change soon as the government has announced higher support prices and the monsoon is now on the upswing. 

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her budget speech on Friday, had urged farmers to make a big success in planting oilseeds just as they had done in pulses in recent years. India is a heavy importer of cooking oil because inadequate oilseed production leads to a huge shortfall in domestic production of the cooking medium. Sitharaman had also listed “selfsufficiency and export of foodgrains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables” among the 10 points in the government’s vision for the econ .. 

Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar is hopeful of early recovery because the monsoon has improved significantly. 

“Situation is under control. Cultivation area will soon increase. IMD has predicted a normal monsoon and we are hopeful things will improve fast,” he said. 

He also said the centre is monitoring the situation closely with states and would take every step to deal with any calamity. 

“Even it rains profusely, there are parts which remains parched. So that is not a problem. We are in touch with every state governments and plans are afoot to deal with any situation,” he had said. 

Due to delayed monsoon, farmers have sown crops over 23.43 million ha — down by 8.53 million ha from 31.96 million ha last year. During the entire kharif season, farmers sow around 106.36 million ha of land. “The shortfall is mainly due to drop in acreage of pulses and oilseeds. The area of pulses is down by 70 per cent while that of oilseeds is down by around 43 per cent. The shortfall in paddy is 24 per cent while the drop-in area of coarse cereals, which includes maize, jowar, ragi and bajra, .. 

The government recently announced minimum support price (MSP) for kharif crops where it has hiked MSP of oilseeds like groundnut, sunflower, soyabean, sesamum and nigerseeds in the range from Rs 200 a quintal to Rs 311 a quintal. 

“Now that the new MSP has been announced and monsoon covering more areas, sowing activities will go up covering the shortfall. The rains in July and August are important for crops,” said an agriculture department official. The met department has predicted advancement of rains in Haryana, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. 

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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