Our Bureau New Delhi, Aug. 23
Kharif acreage, so far, is higher by eight per cent at 968.48 lakh hectares (lh) over the corresponding period last year, aided by a 14 per cent excess rainfall across the country. Planting is complete in over 90 per cent of the normal area of 1,068 lh.
Despite a lower acreage, the cane yields are expected to be higher this year boosted by well-spread and excess rains in the key cane growing States. Despite an early progress in the cotton acreage, the area this year would remain flat at around 111.34 lh.
While Gujarat and Karnataka have registered a higher area under the fibre crop, States such as Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab and Rajasthan have reported lower acreages as farmers in these States have switched over to alternative crops such as guar and soyabean among others.
Rice acreage was higher at 324.73 lh with States such as Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat and Haryana reporting more area under the cereal. However, States such as Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha have reported lower acreage. In pulses, the acreage under tur or arhar is higher by about a tenth at 36.55 lh as Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat have reported higher areas.
Urad acreage flat
The acreage under urad bean is almost flat at 21.36 lh, while the acreage under moong is higher by more than a fourth at 21.49 lh (16.99 lh). The area under moong has doubled in Karnataka, while it has increased by over 50 per cent in Rajasthan to 9.15 lh (6.2 lh).
Under coarse cereals, maize has seen a record acreage this year with the area exceeding 80 lh (71.26 lh. States such as Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh have registered higher acreage over last year. Total area under kharif millets such as jowar, bajra, ragi and small millets is higher at 109.29 lh (94.07 lh).
The total oilseeds acreage at 186.59 lh against last year’s 162.01 lh is boosted by a record planting of soyabean during this year. Soyabean is sown on a record area of 121.80 lh, while groundnut is planted on 41.24 lh.
Even castor, sesamum and sunflower have seen a rise in acreage. The area under sugarcane has largely stayed flat at around 48.53 lh, marginally lower than last year’s 50.06 lh, primarily on account of lower area in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
(Source: The Hindu Businessline)