A significant increase in planting of gram and mustard has resulted in total rabi sowing area going up by 4 per cent to 348 lakh hectares (lh) as compared to around 335 lh in the same week last year, according to data released by Agriculture Ministry on Friday.
In a statement, the Ministry said overall trend of rabi sowing coverage is very good and it is expected to achieve the targetted area of the State as discussed with the States. Considering the pandemic, the progress of area coverage under rabi crops is satisfactory as on date, it said.
The increase in wheat planting, which almost at half stage, however, was only marginally higher as compared to the same period last year. As compared to 150 lh planted till date last year, the area covered was nearly 152 lh.
Pulses area was up by over 13 per cent to over 99 lh as against nearly 88 lh planted till same week last rabi season. With pulses prices ruling high, farmers in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and others have planted pulses in more area this year.
With Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Haryana planting more, the area under oilseeds crops increased by nearly 5 per cent as compared to last year. Farmers have planted particularly mustard and rapeseed in around 62 lh this this week as compared to around 59 lh in the same period last year.
Planting of coarse cereals is down by almost the same percentage year-on-year. The area under coarse cereals was a little over 27 lh as against around 29 lh in the same period last year. Similarly, there is a nearly 7 per cent drop in area under winter rice.
The actual rainfall received during the winter period till Friday was 101.3 mm, about 2 per cent lower than the normal 103.7 mm. The cumulative water storage in 128 reservoirs monitored by the Central Water Commission on Thursday was 139.35 billion cubic metre (BCM) as compared to 149 BCM in the corresponding week last year.