This season’s rabi crop area was 4.6% lower than the year ago period until Friday, data released by the ministry of agriculture stated. The difference was reported at around 3.5% in the previous estimate released earlier this week and 17% in the assessment six weeks ago.
This could bring huge relief to farm sector which had already faced two consecutive years of deficient monsoon. With the exception of wheat and oilseeds, the sowing of rabi crops like pulses and coarse cereals have surpassed last year’s figure.
The total area sown under rabi crops is reported at 541 lakh hectare against 567 lakh hectare reported a year ago.
Last week only 520 lakh hectare were under winter crops such as wheat, pulses, oilseeds, coarse cereals and rice. The rabi sowing is expected to continue for next couple of weeks, an agriculture ministry official said.
The area under pulses has just surpassed the last year’s figure until January 1. “The production of pulses has remained almost stagnant within the range of 13 to 19 million tonne during 2005-2015,” the government’s Mid-Year Economic Analysis released recently stated.
While coarse cereal sowing have jumped by more than 8% compared to last year, the wheat sowing picked up pace this week. However, the wheat sowing is still less by around 7.2% compared to a year-ago period.
“Due to delay in kharif harvesting because of deficient monsoon, the rabi sowing has been on a slower note,” KV Prabhu, deputy director, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) said.