New Delhi: Area sown to paddy has risen by over 21 percent to 3.08 lakh hectare so far in this kharif season amid chances of weak monsoon, which is expected to hit Kerala tomorrow.
Sowing area under paddy was 2.54 lakh hectares till the same period a year-ago, according to Agriculture Ministry data released today.
"Total sown area as on May 29, as per reports received from states, stands at 59.56 lakh hectare as compared to 59.47 lakh hectare at this time last year," the Ministry said in a statement.
Area under oilseeds has increased to 0.16 lakh hectare so far this kharif season, as against 0.04 lakh hectare in the same period last year.
Area sown to cotton has increased to 8.82 lakh hectare from 7.72 lakh hectare, while area coverage under jute and mesta has increased marginally to 6.81 lakh hectare from 6.25 lakh hectare.
However total area under sugarcane stood at 40.70 lakh hectare so far this kharif season, slightly lower than 42.92 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.
Sowing of kharif crops normally begin with the onset of southwest monsoon in June, while the harvesting starts from October. In some parts, early kharif sowing begins, taking advantage of irrigation and pre-monsoon showers.
The weather office has forecast that monsoon would hit the Kerala coast on May 30, two days ahead of its schedule.
Below normal forecast of monsoon by weather office, has already prompted the government to put in place a contingency plan for 580 districts and push crop insurance for farmers.
The country witnessed 12 percent deficient rains in 2014, which affected production of foodgrains and other crops during 2014-15 crop year (July-June).
Foodgrains production is estimated to have declined by 5.25 percent to 251.12 million tonnes in 2014-15 crop year due to poor monsoon and unseasonal rain in last two months.