Agri Business

Rabi sowing down by 3 million hectares across the board

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2019 Published on January 11, 2019

Sudden dip this week in wheat planting; rice, pulses also drop

A shortfall in planting of wheat, pulses and coarse cereals pulled down cumulative rabi planting by almost 29 lakh hectares (lh) this week, as compared to the corresponding period last year, per the sowing data released by the Agriculture Ministry on Friday.

The total planted area till the end of the week remained at 581.5 lh, 4.75 per cent lower than the 610.5 lh in the same period during the previous rabi season.

While the area under pulses and coarse cereals has been consistently lower as compared to last year, the surprise of the week was the sudden dip in wheat sowing, which maintained a positive trend for the past few weeks. The area under wheat cultivation dropped to 294 lh, which was 2.14 per cent lower than the 300.51 lh in the same week last year. Wheat cultivation is down in Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal apart from Rajasthan. The increase in wheat sowing in Madhya Pradesh is insignificant to pull up the numbers.

Rice cultivation, too, is 21 per cent lower at 16.57 lh as compared to the previous rabi season.

Grams impact pulses

Pulses sowing, on the other hand, is 5.73 per cent lower on account of a shortfall in gram cultivation, which is down by 10.67 lh as compared to the corresponding period last year.

A nearly 22 per cent drop in jowar sowing has resulted in the coarse cereals area coming down by 16 per cent to nearly 45 lh. The area under oilseeds was 78 lh, close to what was sown during the same period last year. Mustard/rapeseed, the major oilseeds crop during the rabi season, however, was up 2.5 per cent to 68 lh, while there was a significant shortfall in the cultivation of other oilseeds varieties this year.

Meanwhile, the cumulative water storage in 91 reservoirs, monitored by the Central Water Commission, remained at 162 billion cubic metres till Thursday, much the same as a year ago.

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Published on January 11, 2019
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