The easing of the monsoon post June 2021 has resulted in a 32% rainfall deficit during that period, and is likely to push farmers into changing their kharif crop patterns.
GS-III: Agriculture (Cropping patterns), GS-I: Geography (Important geophysical phenomena)
Dimensions of the Article:
- What is cropping pattern?
- Rabi Crops
- Kharif Crops
- Zaid Crops
- About the recent study on Monsoon and farming Oil seeds
What is cropping pattern?
- Cropping pattern is basically the nature and variety of crops grown both spatially and temporally in an area or a geographical region. In spatial terms, it is what different type of crops grown in adjacent lands of a region. In temporal terms, it is the nature of crops that are taken up in a specific land over different agrarian seasons of a year (like kharif-rainy, rabi-winter, zaid-summer). It depends upon following factors:
- Infrastructure facilities: Irrigation, transport, storage, trade and marketing, post-harvest handling and processing etc.
- Socio-economic factors: Financial resource base, land ownership, size and type of land holding, household needs of food, fodder, fuel, fibre and finance, and labour availability etc.
- Technological factors: Enhanced varieties, cultural requirements, mechanization, plant protection, access to information, etc.
- Rabi crops are sown in winter from October to December and harvested in summer from April to June.
- Some of the important rabi crops are wheat, barley, peas, gram and mustard.
- Though, these crops are grown in large parts of India, states from the north and north-western parts such as Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh are important for the production of wheat and other rabi crops.
- Availability of precipitation during winter months due to the western Temperate Cyclones help in the success of these crops.
- However, the success of the green revolution in Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh and parts of Rajasthan has also been an important factor in the growth of the abovementioned rabi crops.
- Kharif crops are grown with the onset of monsoon in different parts of the country and these are harvested in September-October.
- Important crops grown during this season are paddy, maize, jowar, bajra, tur (arhar), moong, urad, cotton, jute, groundnut and soyabean.
- Some of the most important rice-growing regions are Assam, West Bengal, coastal regions of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Maharashtra, particularly the (Konkan coast) along with Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
- Recently, paddy has also become an important crop of Punjab and Haryana. In states like Assam, West Bengal and Odisha, three crops of paddy are grown in a year. These are Aus, Aman and Boro.
- In between the rabi and the kharif seasons, there is a short season during the summer months known as the Zaid season.
- Some of the crops produced during ‘zaid’ are watermelon, muskmelon, cucumber vegetables and fodder crops. Sugarcane takes almost a year to grow.
About the recent study on Monsoon and farming Oil seeds
- Especially in northwest and central India, which are seeing rainfall deficits as high as 55%, farmers may be forced to move from oilseeds such as soybean and groundnut to crops which have lower water requirements, such as cotton and maize.
- Overall, sowing was slower than last year, with the total sown acreage lagging behind 12%.
- Until June 2021, there had been 28% surplus rainfall. After that point though, the monsoon played truant, resulting in a 32% deficit compared with the long period average from the end of June to Mid-July.
- Rice is the major kharif season crop, especially in the east and north-east of India, which saw 23% deficit during the period of rainfall deficit from the end of June.
-Source: The Hindu