By admin       2016-07-11

The monsoon deficit till date has hit sowing in the key cotton growing areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab.According to agriculture department data, as on this Monday, sowing had been done on 3.05 million hectares, down almost half from the 6.01 mn ha at the same time in 2015. Gujarat, the largest grower, had a 66 per cent fall in kharif cotton sowing, at 707,500 ha so far this year as against 2.09 mn ha in 2015.At a time when the monsoon deficit for the country as a whole is only about six per cent, Gujarat's is 54 per cent. “Many areas in Gujarat and other cotton growing states have still not received sufficient rain,” said Arun Dalal, a leading cotton trader here.This has already started impacting prices, up 29 per cent to Rs 45,000 a candy (356 kg) in the past month. Production is predicted to be around 30.5 mn bales (a bale is 170 kg) for 2015-16, from 38.4 mn bales of 2014-15.A Kadi-based trader said: “There are only 2.5 mn bales of stock available, 800,000 with Gujarat. If the region does not receive good showers soon, the demand from mills would further push cotton prices in July.”Cotton is not the only crop in Gujarat to be affected. Overall sowing of kharif crops is down by 65 per cent to 1.51 mn ha so far, as against 4.24 mn ha in the corresponding period last year.Also Read: Cotton Area In Punjab, Haryana Shrinks 27 Pc This YearAccording to state agriculture department data, oilseeds sowing in Gujarat has fallen to 490,900 ha from 1.26 mn ha last year; that under pulses from 125,900 ha to 56,700 ha this time.Also, said a government official, “Several cities in Saurashtra and Kutch have drinking water problems. New water in dams has not arrived during the past week.”Gross storage capacity in 203 dams in the state is 15,774 million cubic meters (mcm); there is presently 2,751 mcm. The Sardar Sarovar Narmada dam has gross storage capacity of 5,266 mcm; there is now 4,220 mcm. In Saurashtra and Kutch, current gross storage is less than 10 per cent. Several districts Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Porbandar and Jamnagar have cut the water supply for daily use.

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