Gujarat expects bumper crop this Rabi season thanks to excess rain

Ahmedabad: The state agriculture department is hopeful for a “very good” rabi crop this year, given that Gujarat received 140% of its usual rainfall this monsoon season. With excessive rainfall, all water reservoirs and water bodies are full, meaning there is ample water for irrigation this time giving rise to expectations of higher production.

Agriculture secretary Punamchand Parmar told First India, “We are hoping for a very good agricultural output in the rabi season. Though the sowing is slow because many parts of the state have reported water logging in fields, the availability of irrigation water will help farmers a lot. Hence, there is a possibility of higher production this time.”

Attractive prices of pulses are inspiring farmers to sow them on larger scale than cereals and other cash crops, Parmar said. Plenty of irrigation water will be an advantage for sowing pulses across the state.

The latest data released by the state agriculture department reveals that 30% of the total sowing in the state had been completed by November 25. Normally, sowing happens on 31.20 lakh hectares but, as of November-end, farmers had only cultivate 9.55 lakh hectares of land–3 lakh hectares less than last year.

The agriculture secretary said that, normally, the rabi season sowing ends by December 10. However, this time, due to unseasonal rains and climate change, it has been delayed. Sowing is now likely to continue until the end of December.

According to the data, northern Gujarat has reported the highest sowing, on 4,57,500 hectares; this is followed by central Gujarat with 2,15,000 hectares, Saurashtra, with 1,65,800 hectares and southern Gujarat with 16,900 hectares of area. More mustard and edible seeds are being sown on 72 percent area of the total cultivation area this season; this is a considerably larger area than last season. Wheat, the third major crop, has been cultivated on 1.60 lakh hectares of area.

The market also has high hopes from this rabi season. Kartavya Seeds managing director Harsad Paneliya says, “Because there is ample water, farmers won’t have any irrigation-related problems.” H is expecting a record-breaking bumper crop this season, especially of wheat and chana.