Sowing of kharif (summer) crops touched a new record at 1,095.38 lakh hectare so far in the current season on the back of good rains and timely pre-positioning of crop inputs, according to the agriculture ministry. Sowing of rice still continues while sowing of pulses, coarse cereals, millets and oilseeds is almost over. The final sowing figures for the current kharif season will be closed on October 2, it said. The previous record was achieved in 2016 when farmers had sown kharif crops in a total area of 1,075.71 lakh hectare.
Kharif sowing begins with the onset of southwest monsoon from June and harvesting from October onwards. According to the ministry's data, kharif crops have been sown in a record area of 1,095.38 lakh hectare so far this season, as against 1,030.32 lakh hectare in the year-ago.
Good rains and the timely prepositioning of inputs like seeds, pesticides, fertilisers, machinery and credit has made it possible for large coverage even during pandemic lockdown conditions, it said. "There is no impact of COVID-19 on progress of area coverage under kharif crops as on date," the ministry added. As per the data, total area sown to rice has increased by 8.27 per cent to 396.18 lakh hectare so far in the current kharif season from 365.92 lakh hectare in the year-ago.
Area under pulses has increased by 4.67 per cent to 136.79 lakh hectare as against 130.68 lakh hectare, while that of area sown to coarse cereals increased by 1.77 per cent to 179.36 lakh hectare area as against 176.25 lakh hectare in the year-ago. Similarly, area under oilseeds increased sharply by 12 per cent to 194.75 lakh hectare so far in the current kharif season as against 174.00 lakh hectare in the year-ago.
Among cash crops, sugarcane area rose 1.30 per cent to 52.38 lakh hectare from 51.71 lakh hectare, while that of cotton acreage rose 3.24 per cent to 128.95 lakh hectare from 124.90 lakh hectare in the said period. There has been a 9 per cent increase in the overall rainfall in the country so far.