As the economy goes through a recession, agriculture has been dubbed by many as the only silver lining. A report by Crisil Research on Monday said that early onset and good distribution of the south-west monsoon has paved the way for a robust kharif output, raising hopes in the hinterland.
As of August 21, 2020, rains were seven per cent above the long-period average. Good spatial and temporal distribution have prompted sowing crops in most states.
Crisil Research expects a 2-3 per cent rise in the sowing area on-year at 109 million hectares for the kharif season 2020. The area under paddy cultivation is set to increase because of both rains and reverse migration of labour to the eastern and southern states.
On the other hand, the area under vegetables, cotton and maize would be lower than in the previous season as lower prices have discouraged farmers from sowing them, it said.
Dharmakirti Joshi, Chief Economist, Crisil said: “The Crisil Deficient Rainfall Impact Parameter, or DRIP, scores point towards healthy performance of agriculture this year. DRIP, in addition to rainfall deficiency, considers vulnerability arising out of the lack of irrigation buffer across states and crops was red flagging Rajasthan as an adversely impacted state till early August. But with rains catching up, the risk has come down substantially.”
According to the report, farm profit per hectare for field and horticulture crops is expected to increase 3-5 per cent in the kharif season 2020, supported by higher crop acreage, expected improvement in productivity, and government support to procurement at minimum support price (MSP), said the report.
Adequate water availability for critical growth stages is also expected to increase productivity by 2-3 per cent over a low base of 2019, when delayed onset of monsoon in June followed by excess rains and flood-like situation in August-September damaged crops in most western and southern states. As a result, kharif output could rise 5-6 per cent on-year to a record, it said.