NEW DELHI: With sowing of kharif crops almost completed, the total area planted to all summer crops including rice and pulses remains lower at 96.62 million hectare from the year-ago due to poor monsoon.

While sowing of pulses, oilseeds, coarse cereals, cotton, sugarcane and jute has completed, the planting of rice would end by next month.
As per data released by the Agriculture Ministry, the total area under all kharif crops stands at 96.62 million hectare as of today, as compared to 99.9 million hectare in the kharif season last year.

“Barring rice, sowing is almost completed in the kharif season. Rice and cotton area is higher than last year. The acreage under other crops is lower as compared to last year but still higher than normal area of last three years,” Agriculture Commissioner J S Sandhu told PTI.

Some good spell of rains is required during vegetative and reproduction stage of these crops, he said, adding that rainfall deficit has affected sowing operations this season.

Thanks to pick in up monsoon rains, area planted to rice has increased marginally to 35 million hectare from 34.97 million hectare, while cotton acreage has gone up to 12.25 million hectare from 11.16 million hectare in the review period.

However, area sown to pulses remained lower at 9.54 million hectare, compared to 10 million hectare a year-ago. Oilseeds acreage is down at 17.22 million hectare from 18.67 million hectare in the same period.

Lower acreage under pulses and oilseeds is a cause of concern as the country is heavily dependent on import of lentils and edible oils.

As per the data, area planted to coarse cereals is also lower at 17 million hectare, as against 19 million hectare in the year-ago period.

Sugarcane acreage is down at 4.71 million hectare from 5 million hectare in the review period.

Sowing of kharif crops begins with the onset of southwest monsoon from June, while harvesting commences from October.