Acreage under kharif crops nears last year's level

NEW DELHI: The acreage under kharif crops has almost touched last year’s level, despite the late start to the south-west monsoon and later flooding in the main crop-growing states of the country due to heavy rains.

“There is no damage to the crop. Deficient rains in June-mid-July have been compensated with healthy rainfall in latter half of July and entire August when the maximum sowing takes place in the country,” said a senior agriculture department official. “There is deficit only in paddy sowing, which will be compensated by transplanting the crop in flooded areas once the water recedes. Transplanting is still in progress in Odisha and West Bengal.”

According to latest data, rice planting is down 4.7% from last year while overall sowing is lagging by less than 2%. The planting of pulses is down 2.7% while acreage of oilseeds and coarse cereals including jowar, bajra and maize has touched last year’s mark. The sowing of cotton, however, has seen a rise of 6.15%.

The government expects to meet its food grain production target of 291.1 million tonnes set for this year.

The cumulative rainfall in this season as on Friday was on par with normal rainfall despite a relative dry spell over last few days. Due to heavy rains in August, major reservoirs of the country are brimming with water at 111% of the last year’s levels.


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