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Kharif acreages up for most of the crops

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Coverage of groundnut, castor, jowar, bajra trail

Our Bureau

New Delhi, July 24

Kharif acreages are significantly higher this year for all crops, barring groundnut, castor, bajra (pearl millet) and jowar (sorghum).

According to the latest report of the Agriculture Ministry's Crop Weather Watch Group released here on Monday, the total area under rice reported so far, at 143.70 lakh hectares (lh), is higher than the 132.01 lh covered during the period in the previous season.

MAJOR GAINS

The increase has taken place mainly in Uttar Pradesh (from 28.75 lh to 32.97 lh), Orissa (from 16.12 lh to 18.20 lh) and Chhattisgarh (from 9.19 lh to 10.38 lh), while falling marginally from 24.71 to 24.19 lh in Punjab and from 8.45 lh to 8.05 lh in Haryana.

MAIZE AREA

There has been a similar increase in progressive area under maize from 52.20 lh to 57.33 lh, led by Karnataka (from 5.27 lh to 6.74 lh), Madhya Pradesh (from 6.47 lh to 7.95 lh), Rajasthan (from 8.12 to 8.37 lh), Maharashtra (from 3.38 lh to 4.49 lh) and Gujarat (from 2.61 lh to 3.66 lh). On the other hand, bajra coverage has declined from 54.02 lh to 47.40 lh, mainly because of Rajasthan (from 31.02 lh to 19.73 lh), even while rising from 8.01 lh to 11.48 lh for Maharashtra.

Maharashtra has also reported higher acreage under jowar (from 11.95 lh to 12.01 lh), but this has again been offset by a decrease from 4.03 lh to 2.18 lh in Rajasthan.

COARSE CEREALS DOWN

On the whole, cumulative coverage under coarse cereals is a trifle lower this year (138.45 lh), compared to last year's 140.42 lh at this point.

In pulses, there has been an overall rise in progressive coverage from 57.15 lh to 59.66 lh, led by arhar (from 18.83 lh to 23.70 lh) and urad (from 10.29 lh to 13.22 lh), with moong falling marginally from 14.77 lh to 14.45 lh.

In commercial crops, cotton area reported so far, at 75.35 lh, is substantially more than last year's corresponding level of 65.88 lh.

The rise has been mainly in Maharashtra (from 21.91 lh to 27.63 lh) and Gujarat (from 15.91 lh to 20.05 lh), while Andhra Pradesh (from 6.5 lh to 5.4 lh) and Rajasthan (from 3.86 lh to 2.29 lh) have recorded declines.

FALL IN OILSEEDS

In the case of oilseeds, there has been a fall in total acreage, from 121.93 lh to 116.39 lh, basically on account of groundnut (from 38.74 lh to 31.41 lh), sesamum (10.45 lh to 8.51 lh), castor (from 4.54 lh to 2.62 lh) and linseed (from 1.53 lh to 0.62 lh).

As against this, soyabean and sunflower have witnessed a significant step-up, from 63.14 lh to 67.24 lh and from 3.53 lh to 5.99 lh, respectively.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 25, 2006)
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