Agri Business

Rabi rice area drops by a third

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 21, 2018

Total acreage down 5% to 512.5 lakh ha on scanty rains

Rice cultivation in the current rabi season is down by 32 per cent as compared to the corresponding period last year, with Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh reporting a substantial drop in planting, shows the latest sowing data released by the Agriculture Ministry.

As per the weekly sowing data published on Friday, rabi sowing has covered a total area of 512.53 lakh hectares (lh), about 4.6 per cent lower than 537.12 lh covered in the same period in 2017-19.


Though the shortfall in planting is reported across the crops, the highest in percentage was in rice. While the rice sowing is down by 54 per cent in Andhra Pradesh, the shortfall reported from Tamil Nadu is 27 per cent.

Wheat, which accounts for nearly half the rabi cropping area, is down by 1.5 per cent. Wheat sowing is down mainly because of drop in acreage in key growing States of Bihar, Gujarat and Rajasthan. But, a higher acreage reported from Madhya Pradesh bridged the shortfall to a great extent. As compared to 41 lh area planted last year, the sowing has reportedly covered 48 lh in Madhya Pradesh so far.

Coarse cereals down

Drought in Karnataka and Maharashtra, on the other hand, has affected coarse cereals. Both the States have reported a decline in acreage. Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, has gone for higher maize cultivation this season. Still, maize is still 10 per cent down as compared to last year, because of poor sowing in Bihar, another State reeling under drought. Coarse cereals cultivation is down by 17.37 per cent to 40.26 lh till date.

Oilseeds, pulses: Mixed

Among oilseeds crops, the saving grace seems to mustard/rapeseed, which has been sown on a higher area from Rajasthan. The planting of oilseeds in the State has gone up to 23.20 lh (20.60 lh), taking the cumulative acreage across the country to 72.53 lh, which is very similar to that in the previous rabi season.

Pulses cultivation too is languishing as compared to last year, mainly because both Karnataka and Maharashtra reported decrease in planting. Madhya Pradesh, on the other hand, reported higher acreage under pulses so far this year.

Published on December 21, 2018

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