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Kharif Crop Sowing To Pick Up With Wider Monsoon Coverage
Southwest monsoon between June 1 to July 7 was below normal but would revive from this week onwards and cover all areas after July 10.
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Sowing of kharif crops, including paddy is 10.43 per cent less at 499.87 lakh hectare so far but is expected to gain pace with monsoon anticipated to cover all areas, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. Till July 9 of the ongoing 2021-22 kharif season, sowing has been completed in almost 45 per cent of the total kharif area of about 1,000-1,100 lakh hectare (ha). The progress of monsoon in July is crucial for planting of paddy, pulses and other kharif crops.
In the year-ago period, kharif crops were covered in 558.11 lakh ha, while the total coverage stood at 1,121.75 lakh ha at the end of the 2020-21 kharif season. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), southwest monsoon between June 1 to July 7 was below normal but would revive from this week onwards and cover all areas after July 10. According to the ministry, sowing of kharif crops in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab has been lower so far in the ongoing 2021-22 kharif season due to erratic rains and less coverage by monsoon rains. The coverage was less even in Southern Peninsula, Bihar and Jharkhand due to excess soil moisture. While the planting of most kharif crops remains lower so far, the ministry asserted that 'at present there is no point of concern for achieving the normal area coverage in the country.'
As per the ministry's data, paddy sown area is down at 114.82 lakh ha so far in the 2021-22 kharif season as against 126.08 lakh ha in the year-ago period. Less coverage of paddy was reported from Bihar (2.74 lakh ha), followed by Chhattisgarh (2.18 lakh ha), Assam (1.37 lakh ha), Haryana (1.31 lakh ha), West Bengal (0.91 lakh ha), Andhra Pradesh (0.80 lakh ha), Manipur (0.74 lakh ha), and Odisha (0.66 lakh ha).
Similarly, area under pulses remained lower marginally at 52.49 lakh ha from 53.35 lakh ha in the year-ago period. Sowing of coarse cereals was down at 73.07 lakh ha as against 88.21 lakh ha, while area sown to oilseeds remained lower at 112.55 lakh ha as against 126.13 lakh ha in the said period. Among cash crops, area sown to cotton was lower at 86.45 lakh ha so far this kharif season as against 104.83 lakh ha in the year-ago period. However, area sown to sugarcane was higher marginally at 53.56 lakh ha as against 52.65 lakh ha in the said period. And so do the coverage of jute and mesta crop at 6.93 lakh ha as against 6.87 lakh ha, the data showed.
The ministry said IMD has forecast that monsoon rains are expected to cover almost all areas, triggering kharif sowing in full swing in the coming days. Southwest monsoon is critical for Indian agriculture as nearly 60 per cent of the farmland do not have irrigation.