Riding on favourable rainfall in the third week of July, the area of major kharif crop sowing in the country increased by 18.50 per cent over the corresponding period of the previous year, according to the latest data available with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Sowing data of major kharif crops such as paddy, pulses, coarse cereals and oilseeds on July 24 showed that a total of 799.95 lakh hectare have been covered this year, compared to 675.07 lakh hectare in the last Kharif season.
Rural growth has outpaced urban growth in the recent months and analysts remained optimistic that good crop sowing and higher yield will boost rural income, an analyst with a brokerage house told PTI.
Paddy sowing was done in 220.24 lakh hectare out of the normal 397 lakh hectare till July 24. During the period under review last year, paddy was planted only in 187.70 lakh hectare, the ministry data said.
The 32.54 lakh hectare of increase in area under coverage was contributed by states like Uttar Pradesh (6.50 lakh hectare), Jharkhand (6.10 lakh hectare), Madhya Pradesh (5.98 lakh hectare), Bihar (5.66 lakh hectare), Chhattisgarh (3.57 lakh hectare) and West Bengal (2.80 lakh hectare).
In pulses, the total sowed area was 99.71 lakh hectare out of 128.88 lakh hectare. So far, the coverage is higher by over 25 per cent over the same period last year.
While area coverage of coarse cereals such as jowar, bajra, ragi and maize was increased by 16.83 lakh hectare over the period under review, that of oilseeds was up by 32.80 lakh hectare till now.
Jute and Mesta showed a marginal growth of 1.49 per cent so far. Data showed almost 90 per cent sowing had completed out of 7.87 lakh hectare of normal sowing.
Almost three million farmers are engaged in jute cultivation, the data showed.