By admin       2016-07-13

AHMEDABAD, JULY 12: For the want of water, cotton sowing in Gujarat has declined by more than 50 per cent as on July 11, at 13,65,400 hectares, against the average of 28,21,000 hectares for the last three years.Groundnut sowing has been robust with over 72 per cent of the area already covered under the crop so far.The onset of monsoon was delayed by about a week in June but even by July 12, the monsoon has not covered the entire State. According to the State Emergency Operation Centre, Gujarat has received 124.90 mm or 15.67 per cent of the average rainfall for the season, thereby indicating a deficit of over 84 per cent.“Cotton prices had sharp fluctuations last year. We couldn’t even recover our costs, we had to sell our crop at a tad higher than MSP. Initially, we were thinking about switching to other crops. But in the present situation of no water and delayed monsoon, we are sure not to take cotton any more,” said a cotton farmer in Devbhumi Dwarka district in Saurashtra. Not enough rain Groundnut and cotton are the two main kharif crops, taking up close to half of the overall sowing area during the kharif season. “Farmers are tensed as there is no sufficient rain till now. Most cotton farmers are waiting for good showers. Many others who had taken early sowing are facing damage. Groundnut is not good either. If it doesn’t rain in next three-four days, we fear there will be widespread damage in groundnut as well,” said Ramesh Bhorania, an agriculture expert in Rajkot.“About 15-20 per cent of cotton farmers had already decided to switch to other crops even before sowing. But now with rains getting delayed, we see a further decline in cotton sowing. This year could be one of the worst for cotton, and we may see a record decline in the cotton sowing area this year,” added Bhorania.Gujarat’s overall kharif sowing is completed on 32,01,600 hectares, or 36.92 per cent of the normal area. Groundnut sowing is completed on 10,10,000 hectares (13,93,800 hectares), which is 72 per cent coverage, latest data showed.The other crops, which have seen faster coverage of sowing area, are soyabean (76 per cent), urad (42 per cent), tur (38 per cent) and maize (52 per cent). Water storage levels The storage situation in the State is also worrisome as out of the total 203 reservoir schemes, 84 schemes have live storage of less than one per cent of its gross storage capacity as on July 11.The State has total 14.23 per cent of live water storage in its reservoirs including Sardar Sarovar Dam.

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