Sowing of crops in the on-going rabi (winter) season has increased by nine percent to 260.66 million hectares as of November 18 over the year-ago period, as acreage of three major crops — wheat, gram and mustard — has gone up.
The government is hopeful of another year of bumper harvest as over 40 percent of the normal sowing area has been covered, so far.
The area under wheat — key cereal of the rabi season — has gone up nearly 10 percent at 88.5 million hectares from the corresponding period a year ago, the Agriculture Ministry said in its weekly update.
While deciding 2-9 percent increase in the minimum support prices (MSPs) of winter-sown crops in September, the government had said prices were fixed with the aim of encouraging crop diversification amid bumper harvest of wheat and rice and shortages in pulses and oilseeds. The country had record 109.5 million tonne (mt) of wheat production during 2020-21 (July-June). This year’s target is set at 110 mt.
Mustard, the topper
The mustard acreage has surged over 30 per cent at 65.21million hectares so far, exceeding the season’s normal area of 61.55 million hectares.
Experts said the mustard acreage may scale a new high if the trend continues as farmers are hopeful of getting better returns. Market prices of the oilseed had gone above MSP last year following a surge in its edible oil prices. Currently, mustard oil is selling at about $2.69/liter against $1.75/liter last year.
Gram sowing is up by three percent at 53.68 million hectares, while total rabi-grown pulses are nearly at last year’s 76.2 million hectares level. The crop area under lentil (masur) is up a tad at 8.8 million hectares.
Source: The Hindu Business
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