Sowing of kharif or summer crops like paddy has begun and farmers have planted in 81.33 lakh hectare so far. However, the progress will have to be watched closely in the coming days in view of the ongoing farmers protest in some states like Madhya Pradesh. Sowing operation in the kharif season begins normally with the onset of southwest monsoon and picks up the pace from July. Paddy, tur, moong, urad, soyabean, sunflower seed and cotton are main crops grown in this season.
As per the agriculture ministry data, farmers have sown kharif crops in 81.33 lakh hectare (LH) so far as against 72.31 LH in the year-ago period. Rice has been sown in 5.51 LH as against 4.52 LH, pulses in 1.64 LH as against 1.20 LH, coarse cereals in 4.59 LH as against 3.89 LH and oilseeds in 1.27 LH as against 0.94 LH in the said period.
In case of cash crops, sugarcane has been sown in 47.39 LH so far this season as against 44.82 LH in the year-ago period, while that of cotton in 14.06 LH as against 9.88 LH and jute in 6.88 LH as against 7.07 LH. Monsoon is expected to be normal this year, which augurs well for the sowing of kharif crops which are heavily dependent on rains. The government is expecting yet another bumper foodgrain and horticulture production in the new crop year 2017-18, though farmers are distressed across the country due to debt and fall in prices.