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Maharashtra's Summer Crop Acreage Shrinks Amid Adverse Weather and Water Shortages

6 Jun 2024 3:28 pm
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MUMBAI, 6 Jun (Commoditiescontrol): Maharashtra's summer crop area decreased by 3.5% year-on-year to 431,189 hectares, as per data from the state agriculture department released on Monday. This is a drop from last year's 446,944 hectares, although it remains above the five-year average of 349,759 hectares from 2016-17 to 2020-21. Summer crops are typically grown between the kharif and rabi seasons, from March to June.

Despite the overall decline, the total area under cereals increased slightly to 306,012 hectares from 304,459 hectares last year. Rice, the second major summer crop after groundnut, saw an increase in area to 167,720 hectares from 165,661 hectares. This is significantly higher than the state's five-year average of 83,011 hectares for rice. However, maize acreage fell to 60,979 hectares from 72,423 hectares last year.

The area under food grains rose marginally to 322,127 hectares from 319,858 hectares. Pulses acreage also increased to 16,114 hectares from 15,399 hectares, with moong growing to 14,390 hectares from 13,029 hectares. Maharashtra remains the third-largest producer of moong in India.

Conversely, oilseeds saw a notable decline in acreage, falling to 109,062 hectares from 127,087 hectares. Groundnut planting decreased to 79,680 hectares from 85,366 hectares, and soybean acreage plummeted to 5,047 hectares from 24,322 hectares. The five-year average acreage for groundnut stands at 90,605 hectares.

May's rainfall in Maharashtra was recorded at 33.1 mm. Unseasonal rain and hail affected 15,783 hectares of crops and fruit crops, according to a preliminary report dated May 28. Furthermore, the water level in the state's dams is currently at 20.6% of capacity, down from 29.2% a year ago, as reported by the Maharashtra water resources department.

This combination of unseasonal weather and reduced water availability has contributed to the overall decline in summer crop acreage, impacting the state's agricultural output for the season.

(By Commoditiescontrol Bureau; +91 98201 3018)

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