Mumbai, March 22
Untimely rains during March have caused damage to rabi crops and may result in lower yields, a report said on Wednesday.
Between March 1 and 21, cumulative rains have been 20 per cent more than normal, and in the past four days, it was 3-4 times more than usual, according to a report by Crisil Market Intelligence and Analytics.
On March 21, the rain volume in central India was 1,600 per cent more than normal, the report said, adding that unfortunately, this ongoing harvest window for rabi crops has been lashed by an untimely torrent.
According to the report, in the north and northeast, rains have been beneficial for vegetables and mango, but in Bihar, it has damaged wheat and litchi crops.
Litchi orchards, which were in full bloom, were significantly damaged due to excessive rains and the yield is expected to reduce by 5-6 per cent year-on-year, it stated.
With lodging reported in many places, wheat yield is likely to be impacted, the report said.
The northwest, comprising Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, has also witnessed wheat lodging, which could lead to a 4-5 per cent decline in yield compared to previous estimates.
The crop is in the maturity stage and was to be harvested in the first week of April and the rains could delay the process.
Meanwhile, in West Bengal, paddy has seen grain drop, while potato crop has been damaged in Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri, it said, adding that the damage to the root vegetable might not be significant as most of the crops have already been harvested.
Rape seeds or mustard, another major rabi crop, has already seen 70 per cent harvesting, but pods are said to have been damaged for the rest, especially in Rajasthan, according to the report.
The report further revealed that isabgol and cumin, both horticulture crops, have seen pod damage and seed drop in Jodhpur and Nagaur in Rajasthan, which will lead to a 10-15 per cent decline in yield in Rajasthan.
In Central India, including Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, widespread damage was witnessed in both field and horticulture crops.
Almost 5-10 per cent of the onion crop (currently in the harvesting stage) has been damaged in Nashik, and farmers are expected to delay harvesting by 8-10 days to prevent bulb rot due to excess moisture, it said.
In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Kharif chilli, which was in the drying stage, is likely to shrivel or deteriorate in quality owing to moisture ingestion.
Therefore, the crop damage due to the untimely rains in March will result in a rise in prices of both horticulture as well as field crops in MY23 (the marketing year 2023) following a decline in yield, the report said.
However, mango prices would still be stable because there are no reports of widespread damage in Gujarat and Bihar, it added.
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