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Wheat sowing down 6.23%, to pick pace in coming weeks: Government

Last Updated: Sunday, 10th December, 2017 03:35 PM Visits 156

Wheat sowing, which was lagging behind by 6.23 per cent till last week of this rabi season, will pick up pace in the coming weeks, Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak said ruling out any reduction in total acreage. 

Sowing of wheat, the main rabi crop, starts in October and harvesting begins in April. 

As per the official data, farmers had sown wheat in area covering 190.87 lakh hectares till last week of the season, down by 6.23 per cent from 203.56 lakh hectares in the year- ago period. Normally wheat is sown in 300-odd lakh hectares of land. 

The sowing is lagging behind in key growing states Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. 

"There was delay in sowing. Therefore, wheat coverage so far remains less. The weekly data shows over 6 per cent reduction. However, we believe the sowing pace will pick up in the coming weeks," Pattanayak told . 

There is no cause of concern and there will not be reduction in the total wheat acreage during the current rabi season, he said. 

"We have been in touch with states. The feedback from states is that there will not be any reduction in wheat area," he added. 

He also said that exact sowing picture would be known once the planting picks up in the coming weeks. 

According to the data, sowing of wheat is nearing to complete in Punjab and Haryana, while substantial area is yet to be planted in other growing states. 

Wheat has been sown in 54.79 lakh hectares of area in Uttar Pradesh so far in the 2017-18 rabi season, down from 57.09 lakh hectares in the year-ago period. 

Similarly, area sown to wheat in Madhya Pradesh remained lower at 33.23 lakh hectares as against 37.23 lakh hectares, while sowing in Punjab was down at 32.46 lakh hectares as against 33.29 lakh hectares in the said period. 

Farmers in Haryana have sown wheat in area totalling 21.59 lakh hectares so far this season as against 23.08 lakh hectares in the same period last year, the data showed. 

The country had produced a record 96.64 million tonnes of wheat in 2016-17 crop year. The government expects the repeat of the same level of output this year.