Early monsoon boosts kharif sowing by 85%

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 29 2013, 09:37am hrs
Early monsoon has bolstered kharif sowing with total area under all major crops like paddy increasing by 85% to 250.99 lakh hectares so far, the agriculture ministry said on Friday.

Sowing of kharif (summer) crops begins with the onset of southwest monsoon from June. So far, the monsoon rainfall has been 37% excess in the country.

According to the data released by the agriculture ministry, "Sowing of kharif crops has picked up in the last week. The total sown area as on June 28, as per reports received from states, stands at 250.99 lakh hectares as compared to 135.87 lakh hectares at this time last year."

Area under paddy, main kharif crop, has risen by 32% to 39.12 lakh hectares so far as farmers in rainfed areas received good rains especially in Punjab and Haryana as they prepared fields for planting paddy saplings.

The advancement in monsoon rains encouraged even pulses farmers, who have cultivated the crop in 10.52 lakh hectares as of now. In the same period last year, pulses was not sown.

Oilseeds farmers also took up sowing in a big way taking advantage of rains as the acreage improved more than four-fold to 60.69 lakh hectares so far compared to 11.82 lakh hectares in the same period last year.

Similarly, area sown for coarse cereals increased to 29.33 lakh hectares from 5.59 lakh hectares in the review period.

Among cash crops, cotton sowing picked up and its area increased to 55.76 lakh hectares so far this season compared to 31.38 lakh hectares in the year-ago period. However, sugarcane planting declined to 47.43 lakh hectares mainly in Maharashtra and Karnataka, as against 49.35 lakh hectares in the same period last year.