Agri Business

Kharif sowing down by 14 per cent

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 07, 2018 Published on July 06, 2018

Notable drop in cotton and pulses coverage

Widespread rains driven by the progressing monsoon have accelerated sowing across the country, but the coverage continues to fall short of the overall area covered by this time last year, showed data released by Agriculture Ministry.

During the current season, a total of 333.78 lakh hectares (lh) has been planted across the country till Friday, which is 14 per cent lower than 388.88 lh covered in the same period last year.

Picking up

However, there are enough signs of sowing picking up with the shortfall coming down from 22 per cent in the previous week, thanks to the improvement in monsoon activity. The announcement of higher Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for different crops earlier this week is expected to invigorate the sowing operations.

 

 

 

The deficit in cultivation as compared to last year is seen in all major crops, barring sugarcane. At 67.25 lh, the area under rice cultivation, for instance, is nearly 15 per cent lower than 79.08 lh in the corresponding week last year.

The worst performance, however, is in the case of cotton with 54.60 lh, which is 24 per cent down (71.82 lh). Cotton acreage is expected to pick up momentum as it is among the crops that attracted maximum increase in MSP. The maximum shortfall in cotton acreage is currently reported from Gujarat and Maharashtra, which of late received handsome rains.

Oilseed encouraging

Among oilseeds, soybean is catching up on the lost ground fast, with deficit coming down to 3.85 per cent this week as compared to the same week last year. Intense sowing is reported from both Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra – the States traditionally strong in soybean cultivation. Notwithstanding this, the acreage under oilseeds is still 13.42 per cent lower as compared to the corresponding period last year.

Pulses cultivation, which is down by around 19 per cent , is another dampener. However, this is expected with prices of most pulses varieties hovering much below their MSP rates because of bountiful harvest in the last two years as well as high buffer stocks.

Coarse cereals

There is 13.45 per cent decrease in coarse cereals too. The area under both major coarse cereal crops -- maize and bajra – remains low. But, a better performance can be anticipated soon to correct this distortion with most these cereal crops considered favourably while new MSP rates are announced.

Published on July 06, 2018
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