Encouraged by the recent soaring prices of red gram in the market, farmers in Guntur district have cultivated the pulse crop in a large area in the current sale season.

The area under red gram has risen from last year’s 19,000 hectares to 36,451 hectares recording an increase of 92 percent, the district Agriculture Office said today.

Some 4820 quintals of red gram seeds were supplied to the growers at subsidised rates by the agriculture department, the officials said, adding the yield is expected at 12 quintals per hectares.

Red gram is an important ingredient of Telugu cuisines.

As the demand outstripped supply, the prices have sky rocketed culminating in public protest. The state government has made arrangements to provide one kg of red gram to people below poverty line at subsidised rates.