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Buoyed by normal rainfall, kharif sowing has picked up momentum in Odisha, with the overall sowing area surpassing the previous year's figures.
As on July 1, the total sowing area in the state stood at 1.19 million hectares, compared with 1.16 million hectares in the same period last year, show government data.
Sowing area under cereal cultivation stood at 0.824 million hectares, as against last year's 0.843 million hectares. Pulses, on the other hand, were sown in 0.072 million hectares of farming area, as on July 1, while it was 0.039 million hectares during the same period last year.
"Districts like Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Puri, Jagatsingpur, Kendrapada have received deficit rains where the sowing process have slowed down. But the crop condition is normal and satisfactory. The paddy sowing has picked up this year", said Anupama Baliarsingh, associate professor, department of Agrometeorology at the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT).
Government sources said that broadcasting and transplanting of kharif paddy and sowing of non-paddy crops like maize, ragi, pulse, oilseeds, cotton vegetables and spices are under progress.
The total production target for the Kharif season includes 10.31 million tonnes (mt) of food grains with an yield of 2,030 kg per hectare. Area covered under cultivation stands at 5.08 million hectares. Food grain production includes 9.653 mt of cereals and 0.6 mt of pulses.
The state government had, in a separate budget, set out a sum of Rs 14,930 crore for the agriculture sector, while estimating the state's food grain production to reach a level of 11.5 mt during 2017-18.
Odisha's budget is laying prime emphasis on irrigation in the region as it aims to achieve its target of creating irrigation facilities in 2,95,000 hectares of additional land. A sum of Rs 435 crore has also been proposed towards interest subvention to cooperative and commercial banks in 2017-18.