Kharif sowing area up 5% so far; cash crops area stagnant

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 29 2013, 02:17am hrs
Area under kharif crops, other than cash crop, has increased by 5% to over 1047.07 lakh hectare so far this season on account of good monsoon.

The acreage of paddy, a major kharif (summer-sown) crop, rose marginally by 2% to 376.51 lakh hectare from 368.81 lakh hectare in the year-ago period, according to agriculture ministry data.

"The total sown area, as per reports received from states, stands at 1047.07 lakh hectare as compared to 993.99 hectare at this time last year and 1038.27 lakh hectare on September 20, the ministry said in a statement.

Sowing of kharif (summer) crops begins with the onset of southwest monsoon in June which accounted for the country's 98% rainfall between June and August, is expected to continue the momentum this month as it enters its last phase.

Rainfall for the country during September is likely to be normal at 96% in September, according to the Indian Meteorological Department forecast.

The advancement in monsoon rains has pushed area under pulses to 109.18 lakh hectare as of now. In the same period last year, pulses were sown in 99.81 lakh hectare.

Oilseeds farmers also took up sowing in a big way taking advantage of rains.

As a result, the acreage has increased to 193.96 lakh hectare, compared to 174.74 lakh hectare in the same period last year.

Similarly, the area sown under coarse cereals has increased to 195.84 lakh hectare, from 175.93 lakh hectare a year ago.

Among cash crops, cotton sowing stood at 114.37 lakh hectare, marginally less than last year's level of 116.04 lakh hectare.

Sugarcane planting declined to 48.74 lakh hectare, as against 50.06 lakh hectare in the same period last year.

Area under jute and mesta has also declined marginally to 8.47 lakh hectare from 8.60 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.