New Delhi: Paddy sowing is lower by 12.39 per cent at 309.79 lakh hectares so far in the ongoing kharif season due to a lag in coverage, especially in Jharkhand and West Bengal, according to the agriculture ministry.
Besides paddy, area sown to pulses and oilseeds was lagging behind so far this kharif (summer) season when compared to the year-ago period, it said.
Paddy is the main kharif crop, sowing of which begins with the onset of southwest monsoon from June. About 80 per cent of the country's total production comes from this season. According to the latest data released by the ministry, area sown to paddy was lower at 309.79 lakh hectares till August 12 of the ongoing kharif season compared with 353.62 lakh hectare in the year-ago period. In Jharkhand, paddy has been sown in only 3.88 lakh hectares so far this season, down from 15.25 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.
Similarly in West Bengal, paddy sowing was less at 24.3 lakh hectares as against 35.53 lakh hectares in the said period. Less coverage under paddy has also been reported from Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Tripura, Meghalaya, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Goa, Sikkim and Mizoram in the said period, as per the data.
There has been a marginal decline in coverage of pulses and oilseeds as well so far this kharif season. Area sown to pulses has been at 122.11 lakh hectares till August 12 of this season down from 127.22 lakh hectares in the same period a year ago. Arhar coverage remained less at 42 lakh hectares as against 47.55 lakh hectares during comparable period.
There has been a marginal decline in oilseeds coverage at 180.43 lakh hectares so far this kharif season when compared with 181.83 lakh hectares in the year-ago period mainly due to less area sown to groundnut.
However, area sown to coarse-cum-nutri cereals has been marginally up at 166.43 lakh hectares so far this kharif season when compared with 161.33 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.
Among cash crops, coverage of sugarcane was slightly up at 55.20 lakh hectares as against 54.52 lakh hectares while that of cotton area remained higher at 123.09 lakh hectares as against 116.15 lakh
hectares during the comparable period.