Heavy rains increases reservoir levels and also Kharif crop plantation
NEW DELHI: An increase in water storage levels in reservoirs along with heavy rains across Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha in the past week led to an increase in the planting of kharif crops.
Planting is currently in the last phase, largely in rain-fed areas. Early-sown cotton is already being harvested in parts of Punjab.
Kharif crops have been planted on about 97% of the country’s arable land, according to agriculture ministry data on Friday.
Government officials expect the shortfall in planting area over the previous year to be covered in the coming days. Major crops have been planted on 1,022.87 lakh hectares this kharif season against an estimated 1,058.1lakh hectares. The area under coarse cereals, cotton and pulses cultivation has fallen, while oilseeds, rice and sugarcane have increased.
Rainfall since June 1 in the monsoon season is 6% below normal in the country. Still, India’s 91 major reservoirs currently hold 32% more water than a year earlier at 112.083 billion cubic metres, which is 14% higher than the 10-year average, suggesting better water availability for crops after the monsoon ends.
Rice has been planted on 369.98 lakh hectares, compared with 367.88 lakh hectares in the previous year, as per the ministry data.
The acreage under pulses fell 2.55% to 132.66 lakh hectares. Although moongbean acreage was more than 6% higher, planting of uradbean and arhar fell by 13% and 0.5%, respectivily.
The overall acreage for coarse cereals declined 3.85% to 172.31lakh hectares. Bajra, the major coarse cereal planted in the summer, saw a drop along with ragi, maize and small millets.
Planting of oilseeds increased 2.5% increase to 171.3 lakh hectares. Soyabean planting was 6% higher at 111.76 lakh hectares. However, groundnut planting fell 1.71%.