Pune to experience fodder crisis as rabi crop hit
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Pune to experience fodder crisis as rabi crop hit

Officials from agricultural department said that the pace of sowing has slowed down throughout the state

pune Updated: Oct 31, 2018 16:25 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Rabi crops,Rainfall
Rabi crops or rabi harvest are agricultural crops that are sown in winter and harvested in the spring in South Asian countries.(HT PHOTO)

Poor rainfall during the retracting monsoon in September and October is likely to leave its impact on rabi crops, agricultural experts said.

Rabi crops or rabi harvest are agricultural crops that are sown in winter and harvested in the spring in South Asian countries.This year, the sowing of rabi crops such as wheat, gram, rabi jowar and mustard has been only 7 per cent while last year the sowing was 16.91 per cent, according to the data released by the state ministry of agriculture.

The acreage on which rabi crops have been sowed till October 27 stood at 3,99,328 hectares as compared to 8,76, 762 lakh hectares in the corresponding period in 2017 and 8,33,765 hectares in 2016. Officials from the agriculture department said that the pace of sowing has slowed down throughout the state because of negligible rainfall received in the months of September and October which has created shortage of water and dryness in soil .

DM More, secretary to second Maharashtra irrigation commission, said , “The kharif crops have already been affected badly due to deficit rainfall, Now, rabi sowing is also getting affected. It is not only affecting food crops but also crops which are used as fodder for cattle. This situation will lead to serious fodder crisis after January, which inturn will affect the diary industry.” The acreage under rabi jowar crop is 2,95,567 hectare as against 6,50,322 hectare in the previous year. Wheat has been cultivated on only 2,684 ha as compared to 1,02, 637 hectare. Gram cultivation has reduced from 1,77,075 hectares to 88,456 hectares this season. Rainfall data of the state agricultural department shows how cropping pattern of Maharashtra was badly affected by reduced rainfall.

In August, state has received 231.4 mm against 303.3 mm of monthly average. This implies that Maharashtra has received only 76.3 per cent of average rainfall during the month of August. Like wise, for September and October months, state has received 57.0 mm and 12.8 mm against 202.1 mm and 65.2 mm of respective month’s average rainfall.

This implied that over all the state has received only 73.7 mm rainfall from June to October 2018 and this is ultimately affecting the cropping pattern of the state.

Vijay Ghawate, joint director of state agriculture department said,”Yes we have witnessed reduced sowing during the rabi season this year. As of now, we cannot reveal the total percentage of land under rabi sowing. To avoid shortage of fodder for cattle, the state government has announced ₹10 crore scheme under which subsidy will be given for the cultivation of fodder crops.”

First Published: Oct 31, 2018 15:03 IST