Agri Business

Agri markets rally boosts sowing of summer crops

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 08, 2021

Coverage tops 80 lakh hectares; acreage of pulses, oilseeds, rice gains

The area under summer crops has increased over 80 lakh hectares (lh) following significant rise in the area under pulses and rice. This year’s summer acreage is 21.5 per cent more than 65.82 lh planted during the same period last year, according to data released by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on Friday.

The rise in pulses, oilseeds and coarse cereals area is in line with the global rally in the agricultural commodities market.

69% rise in pulses area

The area under pulses increase by more than 69 per cent to 17.75 lh, thanks mainly to substantial increase in the coverage of moong crop. Planting in moong was at 14.42 lh as against 8.29 lh during the corresponding period a year ago.

Rice planting, on the other hand, was over 39.43 lh, which 15.5 per cent more than 34.13 lh planted during the same week in 2020. Similarly, an increase in area under groundnut and sesamum pushed the total area under oilseeds by 12 per cent to 10.74 lh. At 12.11 lh, there is nearly four per cent increase in area of coarse cereals as well.

The country as a whole received pre-monsoon rainfall of 57.5 millimetres, which is 28 per cent lower than the normal of 79.8 mm. Cumulative water storage available in 130 reservoirs monitored by Central Water Commission this week was 56.042 billion cubic metre (BCM) as against 69.405 BCM in the corresponding period last year.

Higher returns

The increase in the area under summer crops is in line with higher returns farmers are getting for pulses, oilseeds and coarse cereals. In the case of rice, too, the area is higher as farmers find it beneficial to grow the foodgrain.

Rice farmers have been buoyed by India emerging as a key player in the global rice market with even countries such as China and Vietnam, the third-largest exporter, buying the grain.

In the case of pulses, growers have been encouraged by prices ruling higher than the minimum support price this year. The prices of various pulses, including moong, have increased nearly 15 per cent year-on-year.

The rise in oilseed area reflects the global trend where prices of soybean rising 20 per cent this year. In India, soybean prices have topped Rs 7,000 a quintal boosting farmers’ sentiments in the growing regions. Farmers’ optimism over oilseeds crop has further been boosted by palm oil prices hitting 13-year high this week.

Though only groundnut and sesame are sown during summer, both the oilseeds enjoy a premium. Their prices could rise in line the the rising trend of edible oil prices.

In the case of coarse cereals, surging corn prices have also encouraged growers. Prices of wheat, soybean, corn, and sugar have all surged higher mainly on Chinese unending appetite for these commodities resulting in a rally in the agricultural market.

Published on May 07, 2021

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