Pulses acreage (area sown) stood at 97.70 lakh hectares last season, raising hopes of higher production and softening of high retail prices once the new crop reaches markets.
The government expects pulses production to increase to 20 million tonnes in the 2016-17 crop year (July-June) from 16.47 million tonnes in the previous year.
“The total sown area (of all kharif crop) as on August 12, 2016, as per reports received from states, stands at 954.18 lakh hectare as compared to 895.91 lakh hectare at this time last year,” an official statement said.
Paddy has been sown/transplanted in 326.08 lakh hectares so far this Kharif season as against 304.71 lakh hectares in the last season.
Area under coverage for coarse cereals stood at 173.56 lakh hectares up from 163.75 lakh hectares last year.
Oilseeds sown area has also gone up to 172.25 lakh hectares from 163.84 lakh hectares.
However, sugarcane sown area fell to 45.54 lakh hectares from 49.51 lakh hectares. Sown area for cotton too declined to 99.03 lakh hectares from 108.67 lakh hectares.
Sowing of paddy and other kharif crops begin with the onset of southwest monsoon from June and harvesting starts from October.
The Met Department has forecast better than normal rains for the four-month season ending September.
India produced around 252 million tonnes of foodgrains in each of the past two crop years (2015-16 and 2014-15) due to two consecutive drought years.
On hopes of better rains this year, the government is targeting a record production of 270 million tonnes in 2016-17 crop year.