The sowing area under summer crops, which is higher by 7.2 per cent from year-ago level as on April 29, will be aided by pre-monsoon precipitation in past one month as the rainfall deficit has narrowed. Besides, a better position of water levels in reservoirs will also help farmers to sustain the crops this summer.
The acreage under summer or zaid crops, grown after rabi harvest and before kharif sowing, has increased to 69.76 lakh hectare (lh) from 65.07 lh year-ago. The lead was also 7 per cent as on April 22.
According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), rainfall in the first two months of the pre-monsoon season was 32 per cent lower than long period average (LPA) of 69.7 mm, while the deficit was as high as 86 per cent in north-west region and 71 per cent in Central India. The southern region has received 21 per cent above normal rains and east and north-east India 3 per cent more than average. The pan India rainfall deficit was 72 per cent during March 1-30.
On the other hand, water levels in 113 reservoirs having irrigation facilities reported water levels at 41 per cent of their total capacity of 129.76 billion cubic metre (BCM) as on April 28, as against 36 per cent year-ago and 29 per cent considered normal during this time.
According to data released by Union Agriculture Ministry, the area under pulses has reported an increase of 40.4 per cent to 19.15 lh — thanks mainly to substantial increase in the coverage of moong crop. Planting in moong was at 15.11 lh as of April 29 against 11 lh during the corresponding period a year ago.
The pulses area in major growing States include Madhya Pradesh (8.24 lh), Odisha (2.61 lh), Tamil Nadu (1.95 lh), Bihar (1.54 lh), Uttar Pradesh (1.52 lh), Gujarat (0.96 lh), West Bengal (0.83 lh), Andhra Pradesh (0.35 lh) and Chhattisgarh (0.35 lh).
Rice planting, on the other hand, was down 5 per cent at 29.14 lh (30.73 lh). Total area under oilseeds is marginally higher at 10.82 lh from 10.46 lh. But coarse cereals are higher by only 41,000 hectares to reach 10.65 lh, so far. Among the coarse cereals, maize area trails by 4 per cent at 6.38 lh from 6.63 lh in the year-ago period.