Winter sowing in Gujarat is likely to cross a record 4.5 million hectares on account of favourable weather conditions, availability of water and higher prices of wheat and other commodities.
As per the latest data of the state agriculture department, winter (rabi) sowing in Gujarat had touched 4.3 million hectares by the end of the third week of December, compared to 4.28 million hectares during the same period in the previous season. The last three years’ average rabi sowing in the state has remained at 4.48 million hectares, said a senior official in the agriculture department. Sowing activities for the rabi season start from October’s last week and continue till the third week of January.
“We expect rabi sowing in the state to remain somewhere between 4.5 to 5.00 million hectares for the 2022-23 season,” said the official.
“Weather conditions are perfect for winter crops, especially wheat, potato and spices,” said the official. Moreover, availability to irrigation, as well as ground water, and prevailing higher prices of cereals including that of wheat has encouraged farmers to increase acreage, he added.
Progressive area under cultivation for wheat has increased to 1.25 million hectares this rabi season compared to 1.13 million hectares in the previous season till the end of the third week of December. Similarly, sowing area of other cereals including maize and jowar too increased from 1.23 million hectares to 1.37 million hectares. Acreage of coriander seeds has gone up by almost double from 0.12 million hectare to 0. 21 million hectares. Tobacco sowing increased slightly from nearly 0.13 million hectares to 0.14 million hectares.
Sowing of pulses however has declined to around 0.8 million hectares from nearly 1 million hectares. Similarly, oil seed cultivation area (mainly mustard seeds) too reduced from 0.33 million hectares to 0.30 hectares. Sugarcane, the main winter crop in the southern part of Gujarat, too witnessed reduction in acreage from 0.19 million hectares to 1.16 million hectares. Progressive area under cultivation of cumin has reduced from 0.29 million hectares to 0.27 hectares this winter season. According to the official, cumin sowing may increase in coming days.