Despite widespread farmer protests against the controversial farm laws, the area under rabi crop increased by four per cent to 507 lakh hectares (lha) till Friday as compared to the corresponding week last year, according to data released by Agriculture Ministry.
The area under wheat, at the end of current week, stood at nearly 255 lha, a modest increase of 2.5 per cent over nearly 248 lha in the same week last year. While there is an increase in wheat planting in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, the area came down slightly in Haryana and Rajasthan.
Led by gram, pulses area has gone up by 9 per cent to 131 lha. Maharashtra, Odisha and Jharkhand reported higher sowing as compared to the previous year. There is a near 13 per cent increase in gram cultivation.
At around 74 lh, the area under oilseed has surpassed the normal area slightly. There is a seven per cent increase in acreage under oilseeds as compared to the same period last year. Mustard, whose area jumped by 9 per cent to 67.67 lha, accounted for the increase.
Coarse cereals, on the other hand, recorded an across the board decrease in sowing. While the area under jowar came down by nearly 5 per cent to around 22 lha, the area of maize and barley fell down by 3 and 16 per cent to nearly 9 lha and 5.7 lha, respectively.
There is a 6 per cent drop in winter rice area, too. As compared to 11.13 lha in the same week last year, the area under rice this week was 10.47 lha.
The Central Water Commission-monitored 128 reservoirs have a cumulative water storage of 134.06 billion cubic metres (BCM) as compared to 144.64 BCM in the corresponding week last year.