New Delhi: Even as the Centre is making all-out efforts to bring the economy on track in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is some respite in the agricultural sector. As per the Ministry of Agriculture’s latest report, the sowing of Kharif or the summer crops has touched a new record at 1,095 lakh hectares so far in the current season on the back of good rains and timely pre-positioning of crop inputs. There is no impact of Covid-19 on the progress of area coverage under Kharif crops, according to the Ministry.
This is to be noted that the previous record was achieved in 2016 when farmers had sown kharif crops in a total area of 1,075 lakh hectare across the country.
Kharif sowing starts with the onset of monsoon from June and harvesting from October onwards. While sowing of rice still continues, sowing of pulses, coarse cereals, millets and oilseeds is almost over. The final sowing figures for the current kharif season will be closed on 2 October, the Ministry has said, adding that “there has been a 9% increase in the overall rainfall in the country so far”.
The Ministry has said that Kharif crops have been sown in a record area of 1,095 lakh hectare so far this season, as against 1,030 lakh hectare last year. “Good rains and the timely prepositioning of inputs like seeds, pesticides, fertilisers, machinery and credit have made it possible for large coverage even during pandemic lockdown conditions,” it said, adding “there is no impact of Covid-19 on progress of area coverage under Kharif crops as on date”.
As per the data, the total area sown to rice has increased by 8.27% to 396.18 lakh hectare so far in the current Kharif season from 365.92 lakh hectare last year. The area under pulses has increased by 4.67% to 136.79 lakh hectare as against 130.68 lakh hectare, while that of area sown to coarse cereals increased by 1.77% to 179.36 lakh hectare area as against 176.25 lakh hectare last year.
Similarly, the area under oilseeds increased sharply by 12% to 194.75 lakh hectare so far in the current Kharif season as against 174 lakh hectare last year.
Among cash crops, sugarcane area rose 1.30 % to 52.38 lakh hectare from 51.71 lakh hectare, while that of cotton acreage rose 3.24% to 128.95 lakh hectare from 124.90 lakh hectare.