A spurt in planting in central Indian States, particularly in Madhya Pradesh, has led to a 21 per cent increase in rabi sowing to 185 lakh hectares (lh) till last Friday as compared to 153 lh planted during the corresponding week in the previous rabi season, data from the Agriculture Ministry has shown.

Madhya Pradesh accounted for more than two-third of the additional 32 lh planted by farmers so far.

ALSO READ: Rabi sowing crosses 100 lakh ha

While the area under wheat increased by over 26 per cent to 50 lh, that under pulses recorded a 43 per cent growth as compared to same week in 2019-20 season. Wheat sowing in Madhya Pradesh was higher by nearly 13 lh, and thus offset the drop in wheat sowing in many States such as Haryana (less 1.45 lh) and Himachal Pradesh (1.05 lh).


Similarly, the area under pulses in Madhya Pradesh was up by about 8.24 lh as compared to same week last year, while farmers in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan planted pulses over an additional 4.26 lh and 3.12 lh respectively. Among other States where the pulses area is higher compared to the corresponding week last rabi season were Gujarat and Maharashtra. Gram, lentil and fieldpea accounted for the most of the increase in acreage. One of the major factors that contributed to higher sowing is better prices that most pulses crops commanding in the market.

Sowing of mustard and rapeseed, too, has picked up pace with Rajasthan covering an extra two lh under the predominant rabi oilseed crop. The total area under oilseeds as of now was over 49 lh, which nearly 7 per cent more than the same week last year.

The fall in jowar and maize planting has brought down total coarse cereals area by nearly 5 per cent to a little over 16 lh. However, there is a slight increase in area covered under barley crop till now.

Winter rice cultivation is up by over 5 per cent to 6.62 lh due to slight increase in sown area in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.