Acreage sown in Gujarat crosses 85% of 10-year-average

By Times Of India on 12 Apr 2018 | read
AHMEDABAD: Farmers in the state seem unaffected by the government’s warnings about the impending summer water shortage. This year, summer crops have been sown on 7.24 lakh hectares, just about 70,000 hectares less than at this point last year. The figure is about 50,000 hectares more than the 2016 acreage though.
Sowing figures released by the the agriculture department reveal that the area sown with paddy, urad and maize has crossed the 10-year average acreage.

A agriculture officer said farmers do not seem bothered by the government advisory to refrain from planting a summer crop as Narmada water will not be supplied for irrigation. The agriculture department data shows that 7.2 lakh hectares has already been sown, compared to 7.9 lakh hectare last year, when there was no water cut. In 2016, the area sown at this point was just 6.8 lakh hectares. The average acreage sown in summer in the state is 8.4 lakh hectares.

A senior agriculture officer said that that the government had announced that there would be no irrigation water after March 15. Farmers who had groundwater facilities thus chose to sow early, to get at least one watering in before March 15.

The data shows that the area sown at this point is 8% lower than in 2016 but 10% less than in 2017. The data also reveals that barring north Gujarat, all other regions have had a lower acreage sown this year. This year, 3.6 lakh hectares have been sown in north Gujarat. The figure was 3.5 lakh hectares last year. Central Gujarat, Saurashtra-Kutch and south Gujarat have seen smaller areas sown this year.

Officials said that the floods of July-August last year have meant higher availability of groundwater in north Gujarat.