India’s 2015-16 Kharif rice crop (June – December) total area planting stood at around 22.8 million hectares till July 31, 2015, up about 6% from around 21.5 million hectares planted during the same period last year, as per statement released in press by the Agriculture Ministry.
It has been observed that Indian monsoons which were 7% below normal in the previous week have improved. Further, central, south peninsular and north-east regions received 2%, 19% and 9% below average rains during the week; however, the north-west region received 12% above-average rainfall.
In one of the reports it was stated that monsoon rains in July were originally forecasted to be 12% below normal but due to sudden peaking of monsoon on the west and east coast of brought relief to agriculturists. The Director of the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) also informed to the Economic Times that in 2015-16 kharif rice output may not be significantly affected if the monsoon deficit is curbed at 10%.
According tothe India Meteorological Department (IMD) it has been forecasted that El Nino pattern may reach moderate to a strong one during the monsoon season (June – September). It is likely that drought-inducing El Nino is expected to lower production prospects this year. Further, Global rice prices are expected to increase by 10-20% as drought-inducing El Nino is likely to dampen production prospects in Asian countries including India, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines.
In view of the present status of the monsoon it has been reported by the Agriculture Ministry that total Kharif crop sown area stands at about 76.4 million hectares as on July 31, 2015, up about 9% from around 70.3 million hectares during the same period last year.