Maharashtra has completed 97.75% sowing for the rabi season of 2021-22, covering an area of 55.70 lakh hectares. Last year, sowing was done on 56.98 lakh hectares in the same time.
According to the latest data shared by the Maharashtra agriculture department, the average area under rabi cultivation in the state is around 51 lakh hectares. This season, Maharashtra has emerged as the largest state to cultivate chana. The area used for cultivation of pulses has gone up to 26.59 lakh hectares, against 24.52 lakh hectares in the same time last season.
The area for jowar cultivation, however, has dropped to 13.79 lakh hectares from 16.26 lakh hectares last year. Similarly, the area for wheat has declined to 10.27 lakh hectares as against 11.64 lakh hectares in the previous year. The department’s data revealed that around 3.21 lakh hectares have come under maize cultivation this rabi season. Last year, the area was around 2.7 lakh hectares. The total area for oilseeds farming has gone up to 52,806 hectares this season while it was 43,564 hectares in the corresponding period last season.
According to preliminary estimates, 11 districts in the state have been affected by unseasonal rainfall, hailstorms and storms covering an expanse of 54,960 hectares. Maize, wheat, jowar, tur, chana, safflower, cereals, grapes, pomegranates, bananas, papaya, oranges, onion and sugarcane have been affected to a certain extent, the sowing report stated. In some parts of the state, the jowar and maize crops have been affected by fall armyworm while chana has also been affected by other crop diseases. For this rabi season, the Centre has allocated around 29.50 lakh tonnes of fertilizers to the state. Meanwhile, the state government has launched a drive to snap power supply to agricultural water pumps to recover dues of about Rs 41,000 crore.
According to energy minister Nitin Raut, various state departments, including the urban development department, are not paying their dues to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL). Also, farmers have not paid dues of Rs 41,000 crore. The state energy department has started a drive to stop power supply to defaulters. The state government has earlier launched various concession schemes to recover the dues but failed. Shetkari Sanghatana leader Anil Ghanwat has slapped a legal notice on the government stating cutting power supply to farmers is a breach of the Food Security Act. Ghanwat said the rabi crop would be affected if the government continues to snap power supply to water pumps.