Area sown to wheat, the main rabi crop, was down by 1.71 per cent at 333.97 lakh hectares so far in the ongoing 2021-22 rabi season as there was less coverage in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, according to the latest data released by the Agriculture Ministry on Friday.
Sowing of rabi (winter) crops like wheat begins in October and harvesting from April onwards. Wheat was sown in 339.81 lakh hectares in the year-ago period. As per the data, area sown to wheat was less by 3.11 lakh hectares in Uttar Pradesh, 1.35 lakh hectares in Haryana, 1.20 lakh hectares in Maharashtra and 1.14 lakh hectares in Madhya Pradesh.
Coverage of wheat was lower in Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand as well in the said period. However higher area under wheat was reported from Rajasthan (1.96 lakh hectares), Bihar (0.68 lakh hectares), Chhattisgarh (0.09 lakh hectares and Assam (0.01 lakh hectares) in the same period, the data showed. Much of the wheat sowing has been completed so far.
Barring oilseeds, there was marginally less coverage in area under wheat, rice, pulses and coarse-cum-nutri cereals as on December 7 of the ongoing rabi season. In fact area under oilseeds rose to 98.85 lakh hectares as on December 7 this rabi season from 81.66 lakh hectares in the year-ago period. Out of which, rapeseed and mustard seed coverage alone was at 89.71 lakh hectares in the said period. This is a good sign considering the country’s heavy dependence on imports for edible oils.
In case of pulses, coverage remained flat at 156.23 lakh hectares so far this rabi season as against 157.75 lakh hectares in the year-ago period. Out of which, gram coverage along stood at 109.44 lakh hectares in the said period. Area sown to rice also remained lower at 16.44 lakh hectares as on December 7 this rabi season as against 18.69 lakh hectares in the year-ago period. Coarse-cum-nutri cereals coverage too was slightly lower at 46.68 lakh hectares as against 48.32 lakh hectares in the said period, the data showed.