New Delhi, Area sown to summer crops like paddy was lagging behind by 1.55 per cent at 1,043.87 lakh hectare so far in the ongoing kharif season of the crop year 2021-22 (July-June), according to data released by the agriculture ministry on Sunday.
Sowing operation is still underway and planting of summer (kharif) crops can be continued till the end of August, it said.
Farmers had planted summer (kharif) crops in 1,060.37 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.
Sowing of kharif crops begins with the onset of southwest monsoon from June. Monsoon rainfall was lower eight per cent between June 1 and August 20, the ministry said.
However, water storage available in 130 reservoirs in the country was 96 per cent of live storage in the corresponding period of last year, and 99 per cent storage of average in the last 10 years, as per the Central Water Commission, it added.
According to the ministry, “sowing is still going on” in states growing kharif crops with “occurrence of monsoon rains in many states”.
A majority of states have informed the central government that the sowing of kharif crops, particularly paddy, urad, moong and sesamum castor, can be continued up to the end of August, it said.
Castor can be grown up to September 15 in Gujarat which has been receiving good rains for the last two days. Similarly, sowing of kulthi and nizer and early mustard seed can be done up to September in Jharkhand, it added.
As per the latest data, area sown to paddy (the main kharif crop) remained marginally lower at 374.03 lakh hectare till August 20 of this kharif season as against 378.07 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.
Similarly, area sown to oilseeds remained slightly lower at 187.88 lakh hectare as against 189.98 lakh hectare, while that of coarse cereals acreage was down at 169.06 lakh hectare as against 171.82 lakh hectare in the said period.
However, area sown to pulses was marginally higher at 134.23 lakh hectare so far this kharif season, from 132.03 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.
In cash crops, area sown to cotton was down at 117.04 lakh hectare so far this kharif season, against 127.69 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.
But, acreage under sugarcane was slightly higher at 54.63 lakh hectare as against 53.85 lakh hectare, while jute and mesta area was flat at 7.02 lakh hectare as against 7 lakh hectare in the said period.
Sowing of kharif crops in some places continues till September and harvesting begins from October onwards. PTI