Amid Covid gloom, farm sector blooms for the most part
The Covid-19 lockdown and supply chain disruptions over the past few months have hit many industries. But the farm sector appears to have escaped these with the minimum impact.
While horticulture and dairy farmers did face the brunt of the lockdown, for the farm sector as a whole, it has not been bad at all. Sample these numbers:
Procurement under the minimum support price (MSP) programme in wheat during the rabi marketing season (2020-21) was about 11.7 tonnes by end-April versus 19.6 million tonnes (mt) in the same time last year. However, in the subsequent two months, procurement increased significantly: by June 12, total procurement by FCI and State agencies in wheat touched 37.7 mt (up 11 per cent YoY from 33.9 mt). And, given the MSP was at ₹1,925/quintal this year versus ₹1,840/quintal last year, it was a big relief for farmers.
Groundnut sowing gains momentum in Gujarat
This kharif season, Gujarat has witnessed a sharp surge in groundnut sowing. The sowing figures shared by the State’s agriculture department indicated that groundnut has been sown on over 6.5 lakh hectares so far as against 22,8000 hectares reported in the same period last year.
“The sharp surge in groundnut sowing is primarily due to improved availability of water and last year’s attractive prices of the oilseed over other kharif crops,” informed an agriculture department official.
The data showed kharif groundnut sowing has been completed on 6,56,698 hectares till June 15, whereas it was 22,875 hectares on the same day last year. The three-year average acreage for groundnut in the State is 15,40,078 hectares.
Sowing patterns indicate farmers conforming to regulated cropping
Initial reports in Telangana indicate farmers are complying with the State government’s suggestions on crop coverage to regulate output.
Farmers have sown over 11 lakh acres so far. Officials said that the sowing pattern indicates that they are sowing according to the government plan.
Of the 1.25 crore acres, cotton is being sown in 60.16 lakh acres, paddy in 41.76 lakh acres, red gram in 12.31 lakh acres and corn in 1.53 lakh acres.