New Delhi: Sowing of winter crops is 81% complete and overall planting is close to the normal acreage for this time of the year, shows data released by the farm ministry on Friday.
Sowing of rice has been affected due to a deficit in the north-east monsoon in southern states, the data shows. Rice sowing is lagging by 33% compared to the normal or five-year average area. Last week, the difference was 20%. The area sown under rice is 29% less than in the previous year.
So far, only 0.8 million hectares have been sown with rice, which is just 18% of the normal area. In the southern states, even rainfall as a consequence of cyclone Vardah has not made a big difference.
The area sown under coarse cereals is 4.9 million hectares, which is 3% lower than the normal area of 5 million hectares. Barring rice and coarse cereals, all other crops show normal sowing.
In the case of wheat, the main winter or rabi crop, so far around 25.6 million hectares has been sown. This is only 0.9% lower than the normal area of 25.8 million hectares. A week ago, the gap was 2%.
Pulses like gram and lentils have been planted in 13.2 million hectares, 9% more than the normal area and 13% higher than the area planted by this time last year. The seasonal area under winter pulses is 14 million hectares.
Overall, winter crops have been planted in 52 million hectares, marginally higher than the five-year average area of 51.7 million hectares planted by this time of the year.
Normally, rabi crops are planted in about 63.8 million hectares, sowing for which begins in October and the harvest from March onwards.
The progress in planting of crops this year is nearly 6% more than last year, when a crippling drought had delayed sowing.
Although there were fears of a cash crunch in rural areas affecting the plantation of winter crops after demonetization, sowing has picked up pace over the past few weeks.