New Delhi: Indian farmers So far 1.96 million hectares have been planted with rice planted in the summer, data from the Ministry of Agriculture on Friday showed, which is 46% lower than last year, mainly due to the poor start of the monsoon.
However, the performance is better as the monsoon has intensified. Summer rains have covered more than half of the country, with the rainfall deficit falling from 36% to 2%.
BV Krishna Rao, president of the All India Rice Exporters Association, said planting has just started and the monsoon rains may increase rice planting.
Monsoon rains in India usually start from the month of June when farmers usually start planting other crops including rice, maize, cotton, soybean, sugarcane and groundnut. Sowing usually lasts until July.
Rainfall plays a crucial role in the monsoon Agriculture – which employs about 50% of India’s workers – because about half of the country’s farmland lacks irrigation.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare will continue to update the provisional crop sowing figures as it collects more information from state governments.
Plantation figures are also subject to improvement based on the progress of the June-September monsoon season.
The total area under cotton was 3.18 million hectares as against 3.73 million hectares a year ago. In the west, the monsoon rains have been less in the cotton growing areas of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Farmers have relatively short windows to complete cotton sowing and that is why rain is needed to help farmers plant crops.
Soybean cultivation, the main summer oilseed crop, stood at 278,000 million hectares, up from 1.25 million hectares in the same period in 2021.
Plantation of protein-rice pulses has increased from 132,000 hectares last year to 202,000 hectares.
But the area under pulses may decline in the next few weeks as some farmers may turn to more profitable cotton and soybeans, said Nitin Kalantri, a Maharashtra-based trader.
Sugarcane cultivation 5.07 million hectares was almost unchanged.