The southwest monsoon has picked up pace strongly across most parts of the country, but sowing of paddy — the foodgrain grown the most during the kharif season — has still not kept pace.
One main reason for the shortfall in acreage till July 8 could be less than average rains in the early part of the season, which has delayed planting of the crop, as paddy fields require a good amount of water for healthy planting. A shift towards other competing crops could be another factor.
There is still time, and paddy planting in some parts of the country goes on till mid-August, but unless there is a quick pullback, there could be some concerns on the final harvest.
This could be a reason why Food Minister Piyush Goyal, in a recent meeting, directed states to encourage farmers to bring more area under paddy this time.
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