The deficit in kharif paddy acreage has shrunk to less than 5 per cent to 393.79 lakh hectares (lh), as per the latest sowing data released by the Agriculture Ministry on Friday, over the same period last year. However, the acreage this kharif are still lower than the normal area for the period. The total area under coverage for all Kharif crops stood at 1,084.15 lh as on September 9 compared with 1,094.17 lh in the year-ago period.

The shortfall in paddy acreage is mainly on account of lower area reported fromJharhkand (9.37 lh), Madhya Pradesh (6.32 lh), West Bengal (3.90 lh), Chhattisgarh (2.60 lh) and Uttar Pradesh (2.47 lh) and Bihar (2 lh). However, some States including Telangana (5.34 lh), Haryana (0.94 lh) and Gujarat (0.57 lh) among others have reported an increase in area.

Paddy was sown on 414.31 lh in the year-ago period, the data showed. Paddy is the main kharif crop and its sowing begins with the onset of the South-West monsoon in June and harvesting from October onwards.

Pulses acreage, across all categories, is lower by 4.1 per cent at 130.91 lh. Arhar acreage is at 45.50 lh (47.78 lh in the same period last year), uradbean at 36.96 lh (38.48 lh) and moong bean at 33.10 lh (34.53 lh). Madhya Pradesh (4.08 lh) and Uttar Pradesh (0.23 lh) have reported higher area, while traditional pulses growing States like Maharashtra (3.32 lh), Telangana (1.68 lh) and Jharkhand (1.28 lh) have seen a dip in area.

Total acreage under coarse-cum-nutri cereals are marginally lower than last year’s levels at 189.74 lh (190.92 lh). The coarse cereals acreage are lower on account of dip in jowar area to 13.94 lh (14.47 lh) and ragi at 8.22 lh (9.24 lh). However, area under maize is higher at 82.16 lh (80.52 lh), while that of bajra is up at 70.51 lh (63.25 lh) and small millets at 5.62 lh (5.23 lh).

Among oilseeds, that have seen an increase in area, include sunflower 1.99 lh (1.52 lh), sesamum 12.96 lh (12.92 lh) and castor 7.95 lh (5.99 lh). However, major oilseeds that have reported a fall in acreage include groundnut 45.35 lh (48.94 lh) and soyabean 120.48 lh (120.71 lh).

Commercial crops like sugarcane and cotton have seen an increase in acreage this year. Sugarcane acreage is higher at 55.65 lh (54.70 lh) led by higher area in Maharashtra (1.14 lh) and Karnataka (0.91 lh).

Cotton acreage is higher at 126.66 lh (118 lh) led by Maharashtra (2.96 lh), Gujarat (2.95 lh), Karnataka (1.80 lh), Andhra Pradesh (1.21 lh) among others.

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