Kharif sowing down by 14 per cent

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Notable drop in cotton and pulses coverage

Widespread rains driven by the progressing monsoon have accelerated sowing across the country, but the coverage continues to fall short of the overall area covered by this time last year, showed data released by Agriculture Ministry. During the current season, a total of 333.78 lakh hectares (lh) has been planted across the country, which is 14 per cent lower than 388.88 lh covered in the same period last year.

Picking up

However, there are enough signs of sowing picking up with the shortfall coming down from 22 per cent in the previous week, thanks to the improvement in monsoon activity. The announcement of higher Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for different crops earlier this week is expected to invigorate the sowing operations.

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The deficit in cultivation as compared to last year is seen in all major crops, barring sugarcane. At 67.25 lh, the area under rice cultivation, for instance, is nearly 15 per cent lower than 79.08 lh in the corresponding week last year. The worst performance, however, is in the case of cotton with 54.60 lh, which is 24 per cent down (71.82 lh). Cotton acreage is expected to pick up momentum as it is among the crops that attracted maximum increase in MSP. The maximum shortfall in cotton acreage is currently reported from Gujarat and Maharashtra, which of late received handsome rains.

Source : Business Line

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