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Irregular rainfall impacts sowing of Rabi crops

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

Irregular rainfall across India along with delayed withdrawal of southwest monsoon has impacted the sowing of crops like wheat and pulses in the ongoing Rabi season.  According to data released by the Agriculture Ministry, area sown under pulses has dropped 18% to 69.95 lakh hectare so far in the current season over the same period last year due to less planting in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Sowing of wheat, which is the main Rabi crop, is also slightly lagging behind at Rs 51.63 lakh hectare so far in the Rabi season if compared with 54.28 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.  It must be noted that the sowing of Rabi crops begins from October and harvesting from March onwards.

As per the data, in Karnataka, farmers have sown pulses in merely 7.35 lakh hectares this season as against 12.98 lakh hectare in the same period last year. The north as well as south interior parts of Karnataka are facing severe drought. These areas received very less rains even in the kharif season.

Meanwhile, farmers in Maharashtra too have planted pulses in barely 5.62 lakh hectare so far as against 10.61 lakh hectares in the year-ago period. On the other hand pulses in Madhya Pradesh were covered in 29.23 lakh hectare as against 30.9 lakh hectare in the same period last year.

Now talking about wheat, farmers have planted the crop in only 51.63 lakh hectare in the current season as against 54.28 lakh hectare in the same period last season. Area coverage remained low in Punjab at 14.68 lakh hectare as against 17.58 lakh hectare while in Haryana it stood at 5.54 lakh hectares as against 6.93 lakh hectares in the same period year ago.

Nevertheless, in Madhya Pradesh, wheat coverage was higher at 19.01 lakh hectare so far in the ongoing season as against 15.58 lakh hectare in the same period last season. Oilseeds acreage also remained low at 46.85 lakh hectare as against 49.50 lakh hectare last year.

Rice was planted in only 6.41 lakh hectare as against 8.57 lakh hectare in the same period in 2017.

Overall, all the Rabi crops were planted in 191.12 lakh hectare so far this Rabi season, which is down from 227.41 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.

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