Over 70 per cent of the normal sowing area of 625.14 lakh hectares (lh) has been planted in the on-going rabi season and it is up by 6 per cent from the year-ago period, thanks to an early onset of winter and requisite moisture following a delayed withdrawal of monsoon.

Total area under all crops have increased to 438.51 lh as of December 3, as against 413.11 lh in the corresponding period last year. “The pace of sowing is quite good. Over 15 per cent of the normal area got covered during last week. If the weather remains conducive, the normal rabi sowing area will be covered before the end of this month,” an Agriculture Ministry official said. The acreage under mustard crop is quite encouraging and as per expectation, the official added.

Post-monsoon rains

Total areas under oilseeds have jumped by 29 per cent at 83.65 lh from 64.73 lh year-ago, mainly because of higher area under mustard. The acreage of mustard/rapeseed has jumped by 30 per cent at 77.62 lh from 59.57 lh.

For 2021-22, the government is targeting an area of 75.8 lh with a production of 12.24 million tonnes (mt). The output was 10.1 mt in 2020-21.

Wheat acreage, so far, is up by 4 per cent at 200.66 lh as against 193.42 lh in the corresponding period last year. While a good spell of post-monsoon rains helped the sowing activities, the farmers also received inputs like seeds and fertilisers in time and in adequate quantities.


However, there were some reports of shortages of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), that were compensated with higher sales of complex fertilisers – up by 50 per cent at 2.77 mt during October-November from year-ago.

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday said, “There has been no acute shortage of essential fertilisers across the country. However, in between the season, some states highlighted shortfall of DAP fertilisers, particularly in few districts.”

Accordingly, based on the requests of State governments, DAP rakes were moved to meet the requirement, he said. “The overall availability of DAP fertiliser in the country is comfortable during the ongoing rabi season.”

Cumulative rainfall from the period October 1 to December 3 has been 50 per cent more than normal for the country as a whole and over 85 per cent of the area has received normal are higher rainfall during this period.

The area under pulses is tad higher at 113.98 lh as on December 3 from 113.48 lh in the year-ago. The season’s normal area (five-year average) is 146.14 lh. The acreage of gram (chana) has increased about 2 per cent at 81.43 lh from 80.01 lh.