Home / Industry / Agriculture /  Additional area of 22.71 lakh hectares under cultivation for this Rabi season: Centre

Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on Friday said that 22.71 lakh hectares of additional area was under cultivation during the current Rabi season.

“Final figures on 3 February, 2023 show that momentum gained in sowing rabi crops continued till end of the season. In a comparison made with the area sown last year (2021-22) and normal sown area (average area of last five years), total area sown under rabi crops has increased by 3.25% from 697.98 lakh hectares in 2021-22 to 720.68 lakh hectares in 2022-23," it added.

The increase in area is across all crops, - highest being in rice. Out of 22.71 lakh hectares increase in all rabi crops, increase in rice area is 11.20 lakh hectares from 35.05 lakh hectares in 2021-22 to 46.25 lakh hectares in 2022-23.

This however is lower than normal sown area of 47.71 lakh hectares. Maximum increase in area under rice is in states of Telangana and West Bengal. Area from rice is being diverted to other low water consuming oilseeds, pulses and nutri-cereal crops.

Talking about the increase in the cultivation of the crops, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar said that this is a result of the combined efforts of our toiling farmer brothers and sisters, agricultural scientists and the farmer-friendly policies of the Modi Government. “The government focus is on increasing oilseeds production to reduce import dependency in edible oils. In 2021-22, country had to import 142 lakh tonnes of edible oils at a cost of 1.41 lakh crore. Due to renewed focus on oilseeds, area under oilseeds increased by 7.31% from 102.36 lakh hectares during 2021-22 to 109.84 lakh hectares this year."

Tomar added that this is a quantum jump of 31.03 lakh hectares over normal sown area of 78.81 lakh hectares. “The increase in area under oilseeds at the rate of 7.31% is more than double the rate of increase of 3.25% in all crops together. Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh accounted for major expansion in area of oilseeds."

Rapeseed and Mustard contributes maximum in an increase in oilseeds area during the rabi season. Mustard area increased by 6.77 lakh hectares from 91.25 lakh hectares in 2021-22 to 98.02 lakh hectares in 2022-23.

“Out of 7.49 lakh hectares increase in area under oilseeds, rapeseed & mustard alone accounted for 6.44 lakh hectares. Area brought under cultivation of rapeseed & mustard is markedly higher by 54.51% than normal sown area of 63.46 lakh hectares. Major area expansion has been attained due to implementation of Special Mustard Mission for last 2 years," the ministry said.

Pulse production is under focus to make India self-sufficient in these commodities. Special programme (NFSM ‘TMU370’) under National Food Security Mission was launched to increase productivity of 370 districts having less than state average yields of pulses due to lack of good seed and technological interventions.

“Area under pulses increased by 0.56 lakh hectares from 167.31 to 167.86 lakh hectares. Mung bean and lentil accounted for increase in area under pulses. About 4.04 lakh seed minikits of HYVs were distributed under ‘TMU370’ to farmers free of cost for lentil. States like Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Karnataka took lead in increasing area under pulse cultivation," the ministry added.

As part of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, the government has laid emphasis on increasing productivity of all crops with focus on crops where demand is met through costly imports like oilseeds and pulses and millets whose demand will soar post-celebration of International Year of Millets.

“The increased area brought under rice, oilseeds, pulses and nutri-cereals, along with higher productivity due to use of HYV seeds, will bring a milestone in foodgrain production in the country. This will bring self-sufficiency in pulses, reduce import of edible oils and meet global demands of millets," the ministry said.

Swati Luthra
Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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