Wheat sowing picks up pace, area now at 27.4 M Ha

Written by Commodities Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Jan 18 2009, 04:04am hrs
After dropping down to an almost stagnant pace for a couple of weeks, wheat sowing again picked up speed in the week ending January 16 and has been estimated to be at around 27.4 million hectare (M ha), up from 27.24 million ha, a year earlier. The area under pulses and oilseeds also rose as farmers scampered to plant their crop before the winter season starts to recede.

The coverage under pulses has risen to 13.45 million ha till Thursday, up from 12.61 million ha a year earlier, an official statement said in New Delhi on Friday.

Acreage of oilseeds rose to 9.09 million ha, up from 8.56 million ha a year earlier. Traders said that the higher acreage in oilseeds was mainly due to good mustard sowing because of high prices seen last year.

The area under mustard rose to 6.62 million ha till Thursday, up from 5.88 million ha a year earlier. The rise in the overall Rabi pulses acreage is mainly due to increase in area under chana (gram) and masoor (lentil). Chana acreage till Thursday was at 8.44 million hA as against 7.75 million ha during the same period last year, while lentil acreage rose to 1.52 million ha from 1.35 million has a year earlier.

While the edible oil industry, which has been pitching for the imposition of import duties on such oils, can expect some good news. Area under Rabi oilseeds went up to 90.98 LH from 85.60 LH last year on the back of higher mustard acreage. Areas under coarse cereals also increased from the previous week to 6.74 million ha, as against 6.19 million ha a year earlier because of higher area under jowar.

Jowar acreage rose to 4.86 million ha till Thursday, compared to 4.40 million ha in the corresponding period last year, while area under maize remained almost flat at 1.05 million ha, up from 1.01 million ha during the same period last year.