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Indian Wheat Cultivation Surpasses Normal Acreage, Narrowing Year-on-Year Gap to 2%

The center anticipates a satisfactory harvest despite the dip in rabi crop coverage. A robust addition took place within the last week, signifying a rapid pace in sowing activities.

Ravisha Poddar
Representational Image (Courtesy: Freepik)

The ongoing agricultural season in India has seen a noteworthy surge in wheat cultivation, surpassing the normal acreage by a significant margin. As per the latest media reports, the sowing deficit under wheat has decreased to 2 percent, down from the previous 3 percent, marking a positive trajectory compared to last year's coverage.

Current statistics reveal that the expense dedicated to wheat cultivation stands at 308.667 lakh hectares, demonstrating a substantial recovery from the 314.42 lakh hectares recorded a year ago. Encouragingly, an addition of 24.52 lakh hectares took place just within the last week, signifying a rapid pace in sowing activities.

While wheat cultivation has shown a promising upward trend, the broader picture for all rabi crops remains slightly subdued, registering a 3 percent decline compared to the corresponding period last year. The overall area sown under rabi crops until December 22 stands at 606.86 lakh hectares, representing nearly 94 percent of the normal acreage of 648.33 lakh hectares.

The reduction in rabi crop coverage can be chiefly attributed to a significant drop in pulse cultivation. Specifically, the acreage under pulses has shrunk by 8 percent, with gram witnessing a persistent decrease. Notably, gram's cultivation area has plummeted by 9 percent to 94.03 lakh hectares from the previous 103.35 lakh hectares.

Experts speculate that the shortfall in pulse cultivation in certain states can be attributed to delayed harvesting of kharif crops, diversions to alternative crops, and inadequate soil moisture.

Despite this decline in pulses, mustard acreage reportedly continues to surge ahead, marking a 2 percent increase compared to the previous year, now standing at 95.23 lakh hectares.

Additionally, while paddy acreage is currently said to be standing at 12.67 lakh hectares, lower than the 14.04 lakh hectares seen last year, the government remains optimistic about reaching the normal area or surpassing it.

The government anticipates a satisfactory harvest despite the overall decline in rabi crop coverage, relying on the promising trajectory of wheat cultivation and optimistic projections for other crops in the forthcoming period.

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