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The latest numbers show that 81% of the crop area has already been covered. AP
The latest numbers show that 81% of the crop area has already been covered. AP

Plantation of Kharif crops picks up pace

The higher plantings over the past one week are indicative of better rainfall across the country

New Delhi: The area under plantation has increased as the sowing period for rain-fed Kharif crops nears its end, according to data released by the agriculture ministry on Friday.

So far, 85.5 million hectares have been covered under different Kharif crops, just 1.8% lower than the same period last year, but 1.4% higher than the normal, or five-year, average. As on 27 July, Kharif crop sowing was completed in 73.8 million hectares, 7.5% lower year-on-year.

Typically, Kharif crops cover about 106 million hectares at the end of the June to September period. The latest numbers show that 81% of the crop area has already been covered.

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The higher plantings over the past one week are indicative of better rainfall across the country.

Till Friday, the south-west monsoon, which irrigates more than half of India’s summer crop area was normal in 27 out of 36 meteorological subdivisions covering about 79% of the country’s area.

Overall, the monsoon has seen an 8% deficit compared to the 50-year average.

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Data from the agriculture ministry shows that planting of rice has covered more than 26.3 million hectares, which is 4.2% lower than last year, because of deficit rain in the rice-growing areas of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and the northeast.

Planting of pulses is also lower by about 3.9% and covers 11.5 million hectares.

While the area under urad cultivation witnessed a sharp fall of 11%, arhar and moong is higher by 1.2% and 2.5%, respectively.

The data further show that farmers have planted more area under oilseeds, primarily driven by 11% higher planting of soybean. Area under sugarcane is 1.5% higher, and cotton is 4% lower, year-on-year.

The latest planting numbers signifies that production of food in the 2018-19 Kharif season is unlikely to see a dip, despite the monsoon playing truant in some parts of the country.

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