NEW DELHI: Despite weak rains in the past one week, acreage under kharif cropsincreased by 7.43 per cent, boosting hopes of a good harvest this year. Till Friday, planting had been done on 94.35 million hectares, or 89 per cent of the total arable land. It is 0.69 per cent higher than the acreage achieved a year ago. While acreage under paddy, sugarcane and cotton has risen from the previous year, that under pulses, coarse cereals and oilseeds has fallen. According to the weather department, total rainfall since June 1 was 3 per cent below normal.
Rising prices in the domestic market have prompted farmers to increase planting of cotton. The acreage under cotton has gone up by 18.26 per cent from last year to 11.71million hectares, according to data from the agricultureministry. Meanwhile, many farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have turned to sugarcane planting.
The acreage under sugarcane planting is 4.97 million hectares, which is 8.96 per cent higher than the previous year. Similarly, area under rice has risen by 2 per cent to 32.03 million hectares.
While planting of most crops has expanded, the area under pulses has seen a drop of 1.62 per cent from a year ago to 12.75 million hectares. Arhar, moongbean and kulthi have seen drops.
Area under oilseeds has fallen by 9.85 per cent over the previous year to 15.43 million hectares, with less area reported under groundnut and soyabean.
According to Central Water Commission, water levels in 91 major reservoirs has risen by 8.58 per cent in the last one week, but is still lower than previous year's and the 10-year average.
On Thursday, these dams held 73.492 billion cubic metres of water, 13 per cent lower than last year and 12 per cent less than the 10-year average, according to the CWC. Last week, the capacity was 67.683 bcm.