Unseasonal rains have done havoc to the ready-to-harvest Rabi crops and the damage could be at least 25-30 per cent to the crop yields with impact on the wheat procurements which generally begin from April beginning, according to ASSOCHAM-Skymet Weather joint study.
The main rabi crops such as wheat, oilseeds, pulses and vegetables and fruits have taken the toll of the untimely rains. Vegetables like tomatoes, cauliflower and coriander have been the worst affected, mentioned the joint study.
Horticulture crops such as mangoes, bananas, grapes, channa have also been affected and the impact could be seen in their prices, it said.
Releasing the study titled ‘Monsoon 2015: Agri-business Risk or Opportunity,’ conducted by ASSOCHAM and Skymet DS Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM, said, “in addition to the untimely rains, temperatures have also gone down and this could affect the crops and the consumers may have to face the burden in the next few days with prices of vegetables likely to increase by 20-25 percent”.
“The production of Rabi crop would be down in the 25-30 percent minimum range as more wet weather was in the offing in April and the damage to the Rabi crop would continue” highlighted the ASSOCHAM-Skymet study.
“This untimely rain would also increase the threat from pests. If this continues, farmers may face huge monetary loss”, said Rawat.
As per the government estimates, country’s foodgrain production is expected to decline by 3.2 percent to 257.07 million tonnes in 2014-15 crop year (July to June) from the record 265.57 million tonnes in 2013-14.
However, some pockets that might be deficient (by a narrow margin) include Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Marathwada, Rayalseema, South Interior Karnataka, North Tamil Nadu and parts of the North East.
Rawat further said, the standing rabi crop like wheat, mustard, potato and gram have been damaged in parts of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. More than 20 districts have faced the brunt of heavy rain on their crops as output is likely to be adversely affected.
The Mandi arrivals will face delay along with deterioration of quality thus resulting in possible price rise of essential food items, added Rawat.
India might get normal monsoon rainfall at 102 percent of long-period average during June-September this year, noted a just concluded ASSOCHAM-Skymet Weather joint study.