NEW DELHI: Backed by acreage for pulses that recorded a substantial jump this week, the total sown area under kharif (summer) crops has for the first time this season crossed the mark of the overall acreage of these crops during the corresponding period last year.
The week proved to be beneficial in alleviating water shortages as the country’s 91 key reservoirs also recorded sufficient increase in the availability of water due to good monsoon rains.
The sowing data, released by the agriculture ministry on Friday , shows that the total sown area under kharif crops increased from 406.27 lakh hectare on July 8 to 559.76 lakh hectare as on Friday -indicating a pick up in pace of sowing operations in many parts of the country during the week. The jump is mainly attributed to increasing acreage in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
The sown area at this ti me last year was 548.38 lakh hectares. “We will see the increasing trend till the end of the kharif sowing season in September”, said an official, adding the availability of water in reservoirs will also increase during the remaining period of the monsoon season.
Area under pulses increased from 45.94 lakh hectare as on July 8 to 71.07 lakh hectare on Friday. As compared to the corresponding period last year, the acreage for pulses shows a substantial jump.The acreage was 51.12 lakh hectare at this time last year.
Farmers’ enthusiasm towards sowing of pulses can be attributed to the recent increase in the minimum support prices (MSP). The record shows that the farmers have shifted from other crops like cotton and oilseeds towards pulses for higher MSP and bonus.
Sown area under pulses increased in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Though there was a marginal increase in area under paddy, coarse cereals, oilseeds and sugarcane during the week, area under cotton crop was down by 24% during the said period.