The kharif acreage has exceeded the last year's level by 78.93 lakh hectares.

The Crop and Weather Watch Group in the Ministry of Agriculture, at its meeting on Friday, noted that the crops were so far sown in 950.22 lakh hectares as against 871.29 lakh hectares in the corresponding period last year.

As per the data received from States, paddy has been sown in 312.42 lakh hectares as compared to 293.24 lakh hectares this day last year, showing an increase of 19.18 lakh hectares. This will give a boost to rice production that had suffered a set back last year on account of drought.

The area under pulses too has gone up by 19.71 lakh hectares this season, while the acreage of coarse cereals is higher by 19.33 lakh hectares. Last year, pulses and coarse cereals production had seen a dip.

The area under oilseeds is 164.99 lakh hectares this year against 159.27 lakh hectares last year, while sugarcane sowing is higher at 47.68 lakh hectares compared to 41.79 lakh hectares.

Cotton is sown in 106.14 lakh hectares this year against 97.7 lakh hectares sown in the corresponding period last year.