Mumbai: Good rainfall and satisfactory progress of sowing has brightened the prospects of a good agricultural crop in FY 08, Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has said.
The area sown under kharif crops, cereals, pulses, oilseeds, cotton and sugarcane has increased by 4.8% to 762.3 lakh hectares till 3 August as compared to last year, CMIE said in its monthly economic review.
The country has recorded a cumulative rainfall of 413mm till August 1, with its spatial and temporal distribution also being good, it said.
Area sown under cereals was 391.5 lakh hectares as of 27 July as against 382.4 lakh hectares covered a year ago. Bajra and maize have seen a healthy rise in area coverage, while sowing of rice and jowar was lagging behind.
As of 3 August, rice acreage was reported at 218.9 lakh hectares, 3.1 lakh hectares lower than the year-ago level.
In Uttar Pradesh, rice acreage was reported at 37.14 lakh hectares, lower by 6.6 lakh hectares than the area sown during the same period a year ago. In Bihar also, rice acreage was lower at 14.46 lakh hectares.
As of July 26, area sown under pulses was 84.9 lakh hectares, up from 74.9 lakh hectares during the same period last year.
Oilseeds was sown on 149.4 lakh hectares as of 2 August, up 5.3% against 141.8 lakh hectares last year.
Oilseeds other than sunflower and sesame witnessed an increase in area coverage in the current season, CMIE said.
Soyabean, which until July, had covered only 22% of normal area sown for FY 07, witnessed a major rise in acreage across all major producing states, including Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
The acreage under groundnuts was also higher at 44.2 lakh hectares as against 40.2 lakh hectares covered during the same period last year.
CMIE said the increase in area coverage would contribute towards a higher production. During FY 08, the economic think tank expects oilseed production to be 27.3 million tonnes as compared to 23.9 million tonnes in FY 07.
A major improvement is expected in groundnut production from 4.9 million tonnes in FY 07 to 8 million tonnes in FY 08.
Cotton sowing was almost over, CMIE said, adding that as of 3 August, the area covered under cotton was up 6.6% to 85.1 lakh hectares against 79.9 lakh hectares a year ago.
Out of the total area covered under cotton so far, 46.8 lakh hectares was reportedly under Bt cotton. With an increase in area under Bt cotton, production in FY 08 is projected to be higher than in the previous year, CMIE said.
Sugarcane sowing is also completed. Area sown under sugarcane was 51.2 lakh hectares against 48.3 lakh hectares a year ago. In these two years, sugarcane acreage was substantially higher than the normal area of 41.5 lakh hectares.
Among sugarcane producing states, Maharashtra and Bihar posted increase in acreage, whereas Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat saw a decline. With the rise in area sown, CMIE expects sugarcane production to go up by 5.7% to 365 million tonnes as compared to 345.3 million tonnes in FY 07.