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Kharif planting gathers steam in last leg due to fresh spell of rains

New Delhi: Kharif crop planting has been done on 94% of the arable land, with last phase of planting picking up in rain-fed parts of the country boosted by fresh spells of rains across western, central and southern India in the past one week. 

However , the planting is still marginally lower than the level this time last year. 

Planting covering 995.62 lakh hectares so far this season is 1.28% less than a year earlier, data from the Agriculture ministry showed. Total area to be planted this kharif season is estimated at 1,058.10 lakh hectares. 

Coarse cereals, cotton, rice and pulses have seen a fall in acreage, while oilseeds and sugarcane have reported an increase. 

Monsoon data showed rains were 7% below normal since June 1. Still, India’s 91 major reservoirs held 28% more water than at this time last year, and 7% higher than the 10-year average at 101.286 billion cubic metres suggesting better water availability for crops after the monsoon ends. 

Officials say that in parts of the country where farmers will have to go for replanting of crop due to excess rain or deficit rain, farmers will now go for planting of sturdy short duration crops like pulses and coarse cereals. 

Farmers who had prepared rice nurseries in the rain-fed parts of north-eastern states, Jharkhand and Karnataka will transplant those in rice fields, government officials said. Rice is so far planted on 356.83 lakh hectares, which is 0.75% less than the previous year as per the ministry data. 

Pulses acreage fell by 2.27% at 130.83 lakh hectares. Though arhar, and moongbean acreage was higher than the previous year, planting of uradbean fell by 13%. 

Overall, coarse cereals saw a 4.48% drop in acreage at 166.52 lakh hectares. 

Bajra, the major coarse cereal planted in the summer months, saw a drop along with ragi and small millets. Jowar and maize saw a slight increase in planting over the previous year. 

Meanwhile, farmers have opted more for oilseeds, particularly soyabean. 

Overall, oilseed planting saw a 1.68% increase at 167 lakh hectares. 

Soyabean planting was 6% higher at 111.29 lakh hectares. However, groundnut planting fell 4% and so did other oilseeds like sunflower, Niger and castor which are planted in very less acreage . 

Cotton planting dropped 2.36% to 116.85 lakh hectares, largely in Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. 

Source: TOI

Posted on Oct 31, 2020

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