A nearly three per cent increase in the area under rice and a 7.6 per cent rise in the sugarcane acreage, have pushed up the current kharif crops coverage by 3.5 per cent.

Data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare showed that the area under pulses, oilseeds and cotton has decreased. The coverage of coarse cereals is up 1.64 per cent as of Friday.

Till now, 409.41 lakh hectares (lh) have been brought under rice against 389.58 lh a year ago with Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana being the States that have helped the higher coverage. 

Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Tamil Nadu are the ones that have reported lower acreage this kharif.

Area of concern

Pulses continue to be an area of concern with the area under the cereal crops declining by over five per cent to 121 lh against 127.57 lh a year ago. While Rajasthan has reported a rise in area, key States such as Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have reported a sharp fall in the coverage.

Among the crops, there has been a significant decline in the acreage of tur (pigeon pea) by 2.59 lh, moong (green gram) by 2.47 lh and urad (black matpe) by 0.72 lh.

Though coarse cereals coverage has increased, the area under jowar and ragi is down. The coverage is lower particularly in Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Karnataka and Maharashtra, while in Madhya Pradesh acreage is higher.

Oilseed acreage is lower by over one per cent with the coverage of groundnut, sunflower and sesame being lower, but the area under soyabean is higher at 125.57 lh. Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are witnessing a rise, but coverage in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu is lower.

The area under sugar is higher by 4.26 lh at 59.91 lh with higher coverage in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab, while it is lower in Karnataka, Gujarat and Haryana.

Cotton sowing has dropped by over three per cent to 123.22 lh with growers in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha showing interest. But farmers in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have planted less.

Lower storage level

Meanwhile, the storage level in the 150 major reservoirs in the country at 117.699 billion cubic metres (BCM), which is lower than the last 10 years average.

Nearly 23 reservoirs in the country have a storage level that is 50 per cent below normal. The level continues to be precarious in Bihar, where is it 77 per cent lower than normal, while it is 57 per cent below normal in Tamil Nadu.