Buoyed by a good start to monsoon, acreage for pulses has risen 28 per cent to 71.07 lakh hectares in the ongoing 2016-17 kharif season so far with significant jump in area reported in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday. While there was a marginal increase in area under paddy, coarse cereals, oilseeds and sugarcane, area under cotton crop was down by 24 per cent during the said period.
Sowing of kharif crops begins with the onset of southwest monsoon and harvesting starts from October. The southwest monsoon till July 13 was higher by 4 per cent. As per the latest data released by the ministry, area sown to pulses increased to 71.07 lakh hectare as on date in the 2016-17 kharif season compared with 51.07 lakh hectare a year ago.
A sharp jump in pulses acreage was reported in Karnataka, where the area has increased by 45 per cent to 11.99 lakh hectare from 6.64 lakh hectare a year ago. Similarly, pulses area in Madhya Pradesh has risen by over 37 per cent to 11.48 lakh hectare from 7.25 lakh hectare.
Pulses acreage in Rajasthan has gone up by 21.3 per cent to 14.62 lakh hectare from 11.52 lakh hectare, while area in Maharasthra has increased by 16 per cent to 17.22 lakh hectare from 14.52 lakh hectare. The area under pulses has increased as farmers have shifted from other crops like cotton and oilseeds towards pulses for higher MSP and bonus announced for lentils. A good start to monsoons also boosted planting in key growing areas.
About 30 per cent of the country's total pulses output is grown in kharif season. The government is expecting total pulses output to increase to 20 million tonnes in 2016-17 crop year (July-June). After a sluggish start, sowing of kharif crops has gained momentum after several parts of the country received good monsoon.
According to the data, area sown to paddy -- the main kharif crop -- rose less than one per cent to 123.93 lakh hectare as on date of this kharif season from 122.99 lakh hectare in the same period last year. Coarse cereals acreage has increased by 4.25 per cent to 105.98 lakh hectare from 101.45 lakh hectare, while oilseeds area increased by 2.29 per cent to 130.12 lakh hectare from 127.13 lakh hectare in the said period. Among cash crops, cotton area was down by 24 per cent to 75.41 lakh hectare so far this kharif season as against 93.22 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.