Rabi sowing touches new record at 67.5 million hectares

New Delhi: With crop sowing completed across 67.5 million hectares, the country has achieved highest ever crop area since independence. This is 2.86% more than last year raising hopes of a yet another record output. The coverage of wheat has also touched the highest level – 3.13% more than last year. The paddy acreage has also gone up sharply by 15.24% from last year but significantly down by more than 28% as compared to average area during this time.

“This may be a reflection of government’s commitment for continuing minimum support price (MSP) system. Farmers are inclined more towards growing wheat and paddy due to assured procurement for centre-run food security scheme. The acreage will go up more before sowing ends on January 29, specially paddy, ” said a senior agriculture ministry official.

As per the latest sowing data, the areas under pulses and oilseeds have also gone up by 2.61% and 5.34% respectively from last year.

“Mustard has registered a record acreage this year – up by 7.34% from last year. Higher areas have been reported from Rajasthan, Haryana, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. The increase in pulses area indicates a better output this year, reducing dependence on imports,” the official said.

The water storage in 128 key reservoirs in the country is 22% more than 10-year average while the rainfall during this month is 76% more than normal rains received during this time.

“There is abundant water availability for irrigation. Low temperature with morning dew is helping wheat and mustard crops in northern India. We expect the conducive conditions for healthy growth of crops to continue for next few weeks,” the official said.

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The government has set a target of producing over 300 million tonnes of foodgrains, with rabi season crops contributing 151.65 million tonnes.

“This year, we hope better foodgrain production in the rabi season from last year’s record output of 153.27 million tonnes, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said.



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