Farmers are sowing pulses in a big way as area under the crop has increased by over 28 per cent to 90.17 lakh hectare so far in the 2016-17 kharif season with Karnataka on top.
Pulses acreage has increased by 87 per cent in Karnataka to 14.09 lakh hectare as of today, from 7.53 lakh hectare when compared to the year-ago period, as per the data released by the Agriculture Ministry.
There has been 30-35 per cent jump in pulses area even in Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Sowing of pulses and other kharif crops begin with the onset of southwest monsoon from June and harvesting starts from October.
Monsoon rains are higher by 1 per cent. The Met Department has forecast better than normal rains for the four-month season ending September.
“In view of better progress of sowing of kharif crops, if rainfall conditions during the remaining period of the current monsoon season continues to be favourable as per prediction of IMD, this year’s production scenarios of kharif crops should be better than the last year,” Minister of State for Agriculture Sudarshan Bhagat said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
As per the ministry’s data, all kharif crops including pulses and paddy have been covered in 65 per cent of the total farm area of 1,062 lakh hectare.
Out of which, paddy – the main kharif crop – has been sown in 183.06 lakh hectare so far this season, which is marginally higher from 182.38 lakh hectare in the year-go period.
Acreage of coarse cereals has also increased slightly by 3.46 per cent to 131 lakh hectare from 126.27 lakh hectare, while area under oilseeds has gone up by 4 per cent to 149.16 lakh hectare from 143 lakh hectare in the said period.
Interestingly, pulses has been covered in more than 28 per cent of the area at 90.17 lakh hectare so far this season when compared with mere 64.69 lakh hectare in the year-ago.
In case of cash crops, the acreage of sugarcane, jute and cotton remained lower than the last year’s period.
Cotton acreage is down by 14 per cent to 86.86 lakh hectare from 99.52 lakh hectare, while sugarcane area is lower at 45.41 lakh hectare from 47.40 lakh hectare in the said period, the data showed.