Sowing of pulses, coarse cereals and oilseeds is almost over, while rice planting is still in progress in the ongoing kharif 2020 season notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. Sowing of kharif crops has not been impacted by the pandemic and there has been record area coverage under the summer crops, it said in a statement.
Total area sown to all kharif crops rose 5.68 per cent to 1,104.54 lakh hectare so far in the current kharif season as against 1,045.18 lakh hectare in the year-ago, it added. The final sowing figures for the kharif season are expected to be closed on October 1.
Normally, sowing of kharif crops begins with the onset of the southwest monsoon from June and harvesting from October. Rice is the main kharif crop. Stating that rice sowing is still continuing, the ministry said that so far, the area sown to this crop has increased 7.59 per cent to 402.25 lakh hectare as against 373.87 lakh hectare A year ago.
Sowing of pulses, coarse cereals and oilseeds is almost over, it added. As per the latest data, area under pulses has increased by 4.64 per cent to 137.87 lakh hectare from 131.76 lakh hectare, while that of coarse cereals by 1.28 per cent to 179.70 lakh hectare from 177.43 lakh hectare in the said period.
Area under oilseeds has increased sharply by 10.76 per cent to 195.99 lakh hectare so far in the 2020 kharif season from 176.91 lakh hectare in the year-ago. Among cash crops, sugarcane area has increased marginally to 52.46 lakh hectare, while that of cotton by 2.12 per cent to 129.30 lakh hectare this year.
The ministry attributed the record progress in kharif sowing to timely prepositioning of crop inputs, credit and adoption of technologies besides good rainfall.