Sowing for the rabi, crops that are sown in winter and harvested in the spring in India, has grown up by 4 per cent year-on-year to 348 lakh hectares by November 27, 2020, according to a CRISIL research report. The total rabi sowing area is 2 per cent above the average of the past five years and 4 per cent more than in the whole of the previous season, the report noted.
The increase in planting of rabi crops, such as wheat, barley, peas, pulses and mustard, was attributed to high soil moisture, higher reservoir levels and timely kharif harvest.
"Clearly, rabi sowing has been spurred by abundant rains this year: an overall 9 per cent above-normal monsoon has led to high soil moisture and 19 per cent higher reservoir levels compared with the average of the past five years. Timely kharif harvest has also ensured rabi sowing was dot on schedule," CRISIL said in its report on Thursday.
It would be interesting to see if the momentum sustains for the full sowing season, which starts in November and stretches to end-January.
Last year, kharif harvest, including that of rice, maize, sorghum, cereals, soyabean, groundnut, was delayed, so acreage growth under rabi was on a low base till November 2019. But from December, sowing picked up. Hence, rabi sowing for the current season will be up against the high base from last December, as per the CRISIL report.
The agency expects current rabi sowing (corresponding to marketing year, or January-December 2021) to be 2 per cent more than the all-time high of 662 lakh hectares seen in the previous marketing year.
However, there is a worry that 'Burevi' storm, which is likely to hit Tamil Nadu in first week of December, could damage ongoing rabi sowing of pulses in the state if it turns out to be severe. Cyclone Nivar has already impacted the rabi crop in the state.