A substantial increase in planting of wheat, gram and mustard crops pushed up the rabi sown area this week to nearly 598 lakh hectares (lh), nearly 4.3 per cent higher than 573 lh planted in the corresponding week last year, according to sowing data released by the Agriculture Ministry on Thursday.
The area under wheat stood at around 313 lh, nearly 16 lh more than 297 lh planted in the same week in the previous rabi season. The wheat sowing area went by 11.81 lh in Madhya Pradesh, 2.17 lh in Maharashtra, 1.47 in Gujarat and by 1 lh in Bihar, while farmers in Rajasthan planted around 2 lh less in the current season.
The area under gram was around 103 lh, 8 per cent more than around 95 lh planted in the same period last year. This increase in gram area, reported mainly from Maharashtra and Gujarat, has led to the area under pulses going up to over 149 lh, 5.4 per cent more than the corresponding period in the 2019-20 rabi season. Mustard is another crop which witnessed record planting this year. The planting has been completed in nearly 72 lh, 9 per cent more than nearly 66 lh sown in the same period last year. This helped the total oilseeds area go up to nearly 79 lh, which is 7 per cent more than that in the week in the 2019-20 season. Jharkhand and Rajasthan mainly accounted for the increase in oilseeds area.
Drop in winter rice sowing
The decrease in planting of jowar, maize and barley resulted in the total coarse cereals dropping by nearly 7 per cent to 43 lh as compared to the same period last year. There is a similar decline in the area under winter rice due to drop in rice area in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
According to water storage released by the Central Water Commission on Thursday, a total of 128 major reservoirs in the country have cumulate water storage of 127.73 billion cubic metre (BCM), which is 8 per cent lower than 138.95 BCM in the corresponding week last week.