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Rabi Crops Sowing Expands for Third Consecutive Year

The rabi sowing area continues expanding. As per the official reports, there is a record expansion in the cultivated area under Rabi or winter-sown crops for the third consecutive year.

Abhijeet Banerjee
Agriculture
Agriculture
With the 2021-22 Rabi-sowing season-ending, farmers have reportedly planted nearly 69 million hectares, which will be 1.2% higher than the area in the 2020-21 Rabi season. According to the official reports, there is a record expansion in the cultivated area under Rabi or winter-sown crops for the third consecutive year. 
The jump in the planted area is due to a record increase in oilseeds sowing. The government has focused on curbing expensive imports of vegetable oils and has taken efforts to increase the sown area of the vegetable oilseeds. 
The area sown under rapeseed and mustard grew 25% percent to nearly 9 million hectares, which is an all-time high for the Rabi season. The area under a gram, a winter pulse, also shows a significant expansion to 11.4 million hectares, an increase of nearly 4%.   On the other hand, cereals, such as wheat, rice, and millets, of which there’s usually a glut, showed some decline. By the end-January, the area under wheat shrunk to 34.2 million hectares, a fall of 1 percent year on year. Official sources were quite optimistic regarding the oilseeds area increase since it would help meet domestic edible oil demand and reduce import dependence. India imports around 60% of domestic edible oil requirement while the retail prices have risen sharply in the last few months because of rising global prices.
It may be noted that the farmers’ cooperative NAFED has commenced procurement of tur or Arhar (Kharif crop) from farmers in Karnataka under Minimum Support Price (MSP) operations. NAFED has set a tur procurement target of 7 lakh tonne for the current year (2021-22). On the other hand, the procurement of Chana by NAFED would commence in March 2022. The FCI, in collaboration with state government agencies, would commence procurement of wheat from April 1 in the major producing states such as Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan,  Punjab, and Haryana.
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