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Paddy planting down 1.23 pc so far due to deficit rains in some states

New Delhi, Area sown to paddy has dipped 1.23 per cent at 388.56 lakh hectares so far in the 2021-22 kharif season due to deficit rains in some states, according to agriculture ministry data released on Friday.

In the same period, area sown to coarse cereals, oilseeds and cotton remained lower, while that of pulses, sugarcane and jute/mesta rose marginally.

Sowing of paddy, the main kharif crop, begins with the onset of southwest monsoon from June. Harvesting commences from October.

As per the India Meteorological Department, there was 10 per cent southwest monsoon rainfall deficit in the country between June 1 and August 25.

There was 13 per cent deficit in rains in central India, 12 per cent in the northwest region and 11 per cent in east and northeast. The south peninsula has received 3 per cent excess rains so far.

As per the ministry data, farmers planted paddy in 388.56 lakh hectares till August 26, as against 393.41 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.

Total paddy acreage has so far remained marginally lower in most states, except for states like Madhya Pradesh.

For instance, area under paddy in Odisha was down to 31.25 lakh hectares as against 36.04 lakh hectares, while in Telangana it was 17.61 lakh hectares as against 18.79 lakh hectares in the corresponding period of last year.

Similarly in Chhattisgarh, paddy acreage was down at 36.67 lakh hectares till August 26 as against 39.04 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.

The fall in paddy sowing was due to the large deficit in rainfall in Odisha, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and Mizoram.

The rains were in deficit in other paddy growing states of Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Rajasthan, as per the ministry data.

Area sown to coarse cereals too showed a slight decline to 170.98 lakh hectares till August 26 of this kharif season as against 173.61 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.

Oilseeds acreage was also down at 189.51 lakh hectares as against 192.51 lakh hectares.

However, pulses acreage rose marginally at 135.83 lakh hectares till August 26 compared to 134.23 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.

Among cash crops, area sown to cotton remained down at 117.42 lakh hectares as against 128.41 lakh hectares.

In contrast, area under sugarcane was up marginally at 54.70 lakh hectares as against 53.96 lakh hectares, while that of jute/mesta was flat at 7.03 lakh hectare as against 7 lakh hectares earlier, as per the data. PTI