90% of normal sowing despite no-water warning

By Times Of India on 27 Apr 2018
AHMEDABAD: Sowing of summer crop this year has so far touched 90% of the last three-year average of 8.54 lakh hectares. According to the weekly data released by the Gujarat government, sowing has taken place in 7.59 lakh hectares, which is around 68,000 hectares less than the last year’s figure at this point. However, it is 12,000 hectares more than 2016 acreage.
The figures show that the sowing remained unaffected despite warning from the state government that it would not be possible for it to provide water to the farmers for summer crops because of water scarcity this year.

The officials said that sowing of cereals including paddy, bajra and maize has picked up compared to the average acreage. Against the average acreage of cereals in 3.093 lakh hectares, the sowing this year has been completed in 3.13 lakh hectares.

However, sowing of sugarcane, sesame and guar has been less than 50% of the average. Sugarcane sowing this year is only 36% of the average 40,900 hectares.

A senior officer from the state agriculture department said that when the government announced that water for irrigation would not be available after March 15, the farmers who had ground water facilities went for early sowing. “This helped them irrigate their fields at least once before the March 15 deadline,” the official said.

According to the latest data, barring north Gujarat there has been a reduction in acreage this year as compared to the last year. This year, sowing in north Gujarat has been in 3.65 lakh hectares which was 3.60 lakh hectares last year.

Central, Saurashtra-Kutch and South Gujarat have registered a decline in the sowing areas. This year in south Gujarat, sowing has been completed in only 59,000 hectares.