Amid fall in prices, farmers have sown pulses in 2.22 lakh hectare so far in the 2017-18 kharif season, down 38 per cent from the last season, but the planting is likely pick up from next month with southwest monsoon reaching more parts of rainfed areas. Much of the kharif crops sowing is undertaken during the monsoon period, between July and September.
However, farmers are sowing early in some parts with assured irrigation. As per the latest data released by the agriculture ministry, pulses are sown in 2.22 lakh hectare so far in the 2017-18 kharif season that normally begins from July, as against 3.63 lakh hectare in the year-ago period. It needs to be seen how pulses sowing will progress, considering that farmers are distressed over prices of tur, falling below the support price. According to the ministry data, rice -- the main kharif crop -- has been sown in 9.22 lakh hectare, down from 9.40 lakh hectare in the year-ago period. Similarly, oilseeds are sown in 1.88 lakh hectare as against 2.63 lakh hectare, while that of coarse cereals acreage has gone up to 8.44 lakh hectare as compared to 7.65 lakh hectare. Among cash crops, sugarcane acreage was up at 47.52 lakh hectare so far this kharif season from 44.82 lakh hectare in the year-ago period. Cotton acreage was up at 16.67 lakh hectare as against 12.25 lakh hectare, while on the other side jute acreage remained lower at 6.90 lakh hectare as against 7.22 lakh hectare a year ago. However, total acreage under all kharif crops so far stood at 92.85 lakh hectare, higher than 87.59 lakh hectare in the same period last kharif season.
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