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Govt Stops Releasing Sowing Data Of Paddy, Two Other Crops
Paddy is the main kharif (summer) crop and more than 80 per cent of the country's total rice production happens during this season
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Amid concerns over paddy sowing in the ongoing kharif season due to poor rains in key growing states, the Union Agriculture Ministry has stopped releasing the weekly update of total area sown to paddy. Not only paddy, the weekly sowing update of cotton and sugarcane has not been released for the second consecutive week.
When contacted, the ministry officials on Friday could not give any valid reasons for not releasing the data for the three crops.
Paddy is the main kharif (summer) crop and more than 80 per cent of the country's total rice production happens during this season.
Sowing of kharif crops, including paddy, begins with the onset of Southwest monsoon in June. The ministry usually releases the sowing data of all kharif crops every Friday after the commencement of sowing.
The last available data from the ministry on paddy sowing is only till 17 July of this kharif season.
All-India paddy coverage was down by 17.4 per cent at 128.50 lakh hectare as against 155.53 lakh hectare in the corresponding period of the previous year, as per the available data till 17 July.
Barring the three crops -- paddy, cotton and sugarcane -- , the ministry has released sowing update of pulses, oilseeds, coarse cereals and jute/mesta. Data for these crops are updated till 29 July of this kharif season.
As per the data, area sown to pulses has increased marginally to 106.18 lakh hectare till 29 July as against 103.23 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.
Area sown to oilseeds has also risen marginally to 164.34 lakh hectare from 163.03 lakh hectare while that of acreage under coarse cereals to 142.21 lakh hectare from 135.30 lakh hectare during the comparable period.
However, area under jute/mesta was lagging behind slightly at 6.91 lakh hectare till 29 July of this kharif season compared to 7.01 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.
Total area under all kharif crops barring paddy, cotton and sugarcane remained higher by 2.70 per cent at 419.64 lakh hectare till 29 July of this kharif season compared to the year-ago period.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has projected a normal Southwest monsoon this year. The country as a whole received 10 per cent higher monsoon rains between 1 June and 27 July but 15 per cent deficit was reported in east and north east India during the same period.
Rains were deficient in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand West Bengal, Mizoram and Manipur, as per IMD data.
India is the world's second largest producer and top exporter of rice.