Friday, April 12
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Indian Farmers Expand Kharif Crop Sowing: Ministry Data Reveals 1% Increase

Indian farmers expanded kharif crop sowing, covering 979.88L hectares this year, a 1% rise. Paddy cultivation grew, but pulses and oilseeds saw marginal decreases compared to the previous year. Sugarcane farming showed positive growth.

Farming in India
(Image: NITI Aayog)

The latest data released by the Agriculture Ministry in India indicates a positive trend in the sowing of kharif crops. Farmers have covered an expansive 979.88 lakh hectares with kharif crops this year, compared to 972.58 lakh hectares during the same period last year. This accounts for a modest 1% year-on-year increase in sowing.

Key Insights:

  • Paddy Cultivation: Among the notable developments is the increase in paddy cultivation, covering an area of 328.22 lakh hectares this year, as opposed to 312.80 lakh hectares during the corresponding period last year. Interestingly, India recently altered its rice export regulations, classifying non-basmati white rice as a “prohibited” item for export.
  • Pulses: However, the sowing of pulses, including varieties like arhar, urad, moong, and kulthi, has declined compared to the previous year. The data illustrates a decrease in pulses sowing, with 113.07 lakh hectares planted this kharif season, compared to 122.77 lakh hectares during the previous year.
  • Oilseeds: Similarly, the cultivation of oilseeds such as groundnut, soybean, sunflower, and sesame has also seen a marginal reduction. The current sown area for oilseeds stands at 183.33 lakh hectares, a slight decrease from the 184.61 lakh hectares sown during the same period last year.
  • Sugarcane: Sugarcane farming has experienced growth, as crops have been sown across 56.06 lakh hectares, compared to 55.20 lakh hectares during the previous year.

Understanding Cropping Seasons:

India practices three main cropping seasons: summer, kharif, and rabi. The kharif season, characterized by crops sown during June-July and reliant on monsoon rains, culminates with harvests in October-November. In contrast, the rabi season involves crops sown in October and November, with yields reaped between January and March. The intermediate period between rabi and kharif witnesses the growth of summer crops.

The upward trajectory in kharif crop sowing, despite minor fluctuations across different crop categories, bodes well for India’s agricultural landscape. As the nation progresses through its cropping seasons, stakeholders eagerly anticipate the outcomes that will shape the agricultural sector’s performance and impact the economy at large.

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