Compared to last season’s 16.3 lakh hectares, paddy has only been sown on 5.4 lakh hectares till 15 August in the state.
Meanwhile, in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh, 64 districts have received less than normal rainfall this monsoon and several are staring at drought-like conditions.
Dry Monsoon Hits Kharif Crops
According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data, 18 districts in Jharkhand are rain-deficient for the kharif season, in which water-hungry monsoon crops – paddy, maize, pulses, oilseeds, and coarse cereals – are grown and harvested.
The agriculture department reportedly found that all the districts except two received ‘deficient and scanty rainfall.’
Additionally, the mean sown area in 127 of the 260 blocks in Jharkhand's 24 districts was found to be less than 33.3 percent, the report added.
The state government, however, hasn't officially declared drought yet.
To make up for the shortfall, the agriculture department is currently focusing on promoting crop diversification, according to The Indian Express. The report recommends the promotion of late kharif and early rabi crops to increase area coverage through subsidies.
In Uttar Pradesh, only 11 of the 75 UP districts have received normal rainfall till 19 August, according to IMD data. In East UP, rainfall is 50 percent less than the long period average (LPA). Farrukhabad has received 80 percent less rainfall.
While government officials say it is too early to declare drought and that the rain in coming days will make up for the deficit, farmers fear it is already too late, PTI reported.
"We had to delay the paddy transplantation by over a month due to the delay in monsoon. Many of us suffered losses. Now, the paddy which we have managed to transplant somehow is getting affected due to the lack of rain," Kuljeet Singh of Shahajahanpur district told the agency.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and PTI.)