Sowing area under paddy has gone up by 4.5 per cent to 126 lakh hectares, while pulses acreage has risen 24 per cent to 74.61 lakh hectares so far in the kharif season, the Agriculture Ministry said today. Sowing in the kharif season normally begins with the onset of southwest monsoon and picks up pace from July. Paddy, tur, moong, urad, soyabean, sunflower seed and cotton are the main crops grown in this season. "The total sown area as on July 14, 2017, as per reports received from states, stands at 563.17 lakh hectare as compared to 521.80 lakh hectare at this time last year," the ministry said in a statement. Rice has been sown in 125.77 lakh hectares so far this kharif season against 120.32 lakh hectares in the same period last year. Pulses acreage rose to 74.61 lakh hectares so far from 60.28 lakh hectares in the year-ago period. Area under coverage for coarse cereals stood at 113.06 lakh hectares as against 98.79 lakh hectares. Oilseeds area is down at 103.92 lakh hectares from 115.75 lakh hectares. In case of cash crops, sugarcane has been sown in 47.94 lakh hectares so far this season as against 45.22 lakh hectares in the year-ago period. Cotton acreage has risen to 90.88 lakh hectares as against 73.93 lakh hectares.
Jute area is down to 6.98 lakh hectares from 7.51 lakh hectares. With monsoon rains expected to be normal this year, the government is targeting yet another bumper foodgrain and horticulture production in the new crop year 2017-18. However, bumper production has resulted in fall in prices in the local markets, causing distress to farmers.
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