Pulses sowing area up 9%, wheat area down 2% in rabi season

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Pulses sowing rose by 9 per cent to cover 138.19 lakh hectares of area so far in the ongoing rabi (winter-sown) season and wheat acreage is down at 245.50 lakh hectares of land, according to government data.

Area under pulses was 138.19 lakh hectares so far in this rabi season as against 127.02 lakh hectares in the year- ago period, an official statement said.

Wheat acreage fell to 245.50 lakh hectares from 250.48 lakh hectares during the period under review.

Wheat sowing would pick up with northern states receiving good rains recently, Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak said.

He expects bumper crop production in the rabi season, compensating decline in the kharif season.

The country’s pulses production will be at last year’s level of around 23 million tonnes, Pattanayak said.

“As per preliminary reports received from the states, total area sown under rabi crops as on December 15, 2017 stands at 514.22 lakh hectares as compared to 509.12 lakh hectares this time in 2016,” the statement said.

Rice acreage is up at 12.88 lakh hectares.

However, sowing area of coarse cereals is down at 46.93 lakh hectares against 47.92 lakh hectares.

Oilseeds acreage is also down at 70.73 lakh hectares as compared to 74.46 lakh hectares.

India produced a record 275.68 million tonnes of foodgrain in the 2016-7 crop year (July-June).