Kharif crops have been sown over 1, 043.87 lakh hectares, as on August 20, according to official data, as against 1, 010.48 lakh ha, the normal of the corresponding week, or the average of last five years.

Compared to normal of corresponding week, the area coverage of rice, pulses, oilseeds, and sugarcane was up, but there was a marginally less area coverage of coarse cereals, jute and mesta, and cotton, an Agriculture Ministry release said.

The significant improvement in progress of area coverage has been observed with the improvement of monsoon rains, it said.

An analysis of area coverage showed rice’s total acreage increased by 15.14 lakh ha to 374.03 lakh hectares against 358.89 lakh ha during the corresponding period of normal, but was less mainly in Odisha, Assam, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh due to deficit/excess rainfall, which hampered land preparation as well as raising of nursery beds for carrying out timely transplantation.

For pulses, the area coverage increased by 3.11 lakh ha to 134.23 lakh hectares, but for coarse cereals, it decreased by 1.35 lakh ha to 169.06 lakh hectares against the corresponding period of normal. The major reduction was reported mainly from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana, Haryana, and Gujarat due to deficient/scattered/ erratic rainfall in the beginning of monsoon season.

Area for oilseeds increased significantly by 14.35 lakh ha to 187.88 lakh hectares, and less coverage was mainly reported from Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh.

Sugarcane also saw area increase significantly by 3.19 lakh ha to 54.63 lakh hectares, while cotton acreage decreased marginally by 1.01 lakh ha to 117.04 lakh hectares, mainly in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab.

The statement said a majority of states, in the last interaction, held that sowing of kharif crops, particularly paddy, urd, moong, sesamum, castor, nizer, kulthi can be continued up to end of August.

In Gujarat, castor can be grown up to September 15 as the state has been receiving good rainfall, while in Jharkhand, sowing of nizer, kulthi and early mustard can be done up to September.

About 97.28 per cent of normal area coverage, as per Directorate of Economics and Statistics, has been reported by states – rice (94.54 per cent), pulses (99.21 per cent), coarse cereals (92.09 per cent), oilseeds (104.36 per cent), sugarcane (114.94 per cent), jute and nesta (95.25 per cent) and cotton (94.70 per cent).

According to the statement, compared to last week, over 46.79 lakh ha more area coverage under all kharif crops has been reported from the states, as sowing is still going on with occurring of monsoon rains

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