Agriculture World

Monsoon2020: COVID-19 Pandemic and Monsoon Season

Hitul Awasthi
Hitul Awasthi

Due to Covid-19 pandemic the supply chain of agricultural produce has been disrupted. Labour shortage and restricted movements are adding to the problems of the farmers. The nation-wide lockdown is continuing and the kharif season is fast approaching. Thus, it becomes very important to provide important advisories to farmers digitally. 

The country receives about 75% of rainfall during the south west monsoon period of June-September. In 2019, a total of 968.3 mm rainfall was received which is nearly 10% excess than the normal average rainfall. For 2020, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a normal seasonal rainfall over the country which is likely to be 100% of the Long Period Average (LPA) of 880 mm. 

Rainfed Agriculture occupies about 51% of country’s net sown area and accounts for nearly 40% of the total food production. 

Major field crops cultivated in Kharif includes – 

  • Cereals – Paddy, Maize, Millets
  • Oilseeds – Groundnut, Soybean, Sesame
  • Pulses – BlackgramGreengramPigeonpeaMothbeanClusterbean, and Horsegram
  • Commercial crops – Cotton, Sugarcane, Spices, Vegetable and Fruit crops

 But, due to lockdown there has been a disruption of normal operations/logistics usually undertaken during pre-kharif period. 

Keeping in view the hardships faced by farmers amid lockdown, the ICAR has prepared agro-advisories for farmers in all the 29 states. The crop, livestock, fisheries, advisories mainly deals with the best practices adopted by farmers during ensuing summer period and kharif season. 

The ICAR advisory constitutes of following components – 

  1. Selection of suitable cultivars and adhering to optimal sowing times
  2. Promotion of Direct-seeded rice with good weed management
  3. Adoption of agricultural machines and tools from Custom Hiring centres
  4. Seed treatment with recommended chemicals and bio-inoculants
  5. Nutrient management based on soil test
  6. Correction of micro-nutrient deficiencies in various crops and locations based on soil test results from previous years
  7. Cost-effective integrated pest management options in various crops for avoiding crop losses
  8. Suggestion of drought proofing practices such as tolerant short duration varieties, in-situ soil conservation practices and planting methods, and enhancement of in-field crop diversity through intercropping and mixed cropping
  9. Extension of best methodologies for management of livestock 

To help the farmers in coping up with the hardships faced amid this lockdown, Krishi Jagran has planned to come up with an initiative to provide latest updates to the farmers. The ICAR’s Crop and Animal Husbandry Advisories for Kharif 2020, will be provided to the each corner of the Nation by the efforts of Krishi Jagran. 

 

 

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