Acreage under kharif crops increased by 39% in the last one week as crop planting picked up pace with adequate rainfall in most parts of the country. As of Friday, the total area under crops stood at 56.32 million hectares, up 8% from 52.18 million hectares achieved a year ago, the agriculture ministry said. In the northwestern region, where cumulative rainfall was 30% above normal, planting of rice, especially the basmati varieties, has picked up.
The area under rice cultivation was 4.5% higher than a year ago at 12.58 million hectares. Rice is expected to be planted on 39.60 million hectares this year. Rainfall over the last one week helped increase the area under kharif crops, according to official data.
The acreage under pulses increased by 69% from last week and was 14% more than a year ago at 7.46 million hectares. The increase was reported in uradbean and moongbean while a drop was seen in arhar. Pulses will be planted on 10.56 million hectares this season.
Planting of coarse cereals increased by 14.45% over last year to cover 11.31million hectares; sugarcane by 6% over 2016 to 4.79 million hectares, and cotton by 23% to 9.08 million hectares.
However, acreage under oilseeds fell 10% to 10.39 million hectares from a year earlier. Planting of all major oilseeds from soyabean, groundnut and sunflower fell with less planting in key growing states of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Officials said rainfall has been normal and on track, averaging 289.5 mm since the beginning of June. This could help increase water in key reservoirs in which levels were less than last year and also the 10-year average, according to the Central Water Commission (CWC), which monitors 91major reservoirs in the country.
The reservoirs held 36.108 billion cubic metres of water, 15% less than a year ago and 18% less than the 10-year average. Patchy and weak rains in some parts of the country had impacted the country’s water reservoir levels, especially in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
More than normal storage was available in Mahi, Ganga and Tapi river basins, said the CWC. It was close to normal in Indus, Sabarmati, Godavari, Mahanadi and neighbouring east-flowing rivers and west-flowing rivers of the south. However, it was deficient in Narmada and rivers of Kutch and highly deficient in Cauvery and neighbouring east-flowing rivers and the Krishna basin.