Area coverage under wheat has declined by 22 per cent to 2.18 million hectare so far this rabi season, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

While sowing in rabi (winter) season starts from October, the harvesting of crops is undertaken during March-April.

“As per reports received from different States, sowing of rabi crops is in full swing in different parts of the country,” an official release said.

Wheat, the main rabi crop, has been sown in 2.18 million hectare so far this season against 2.79 million hectare in the same period last year.

While pulses area was less at 3.27 million hectare against 4.61 million hectare, rice sowing was down at 30,000 hectare against 33,000 hectare in the review period.

However, area coverage under oilseeds and coarse cereals surpassed last year’s level. Oilseeds were planted in 4.32 million hectares so far, higher than 3.51 million hectares covered in the same period last year.

Coarse cereals were covered in 3.16 million hectare against 2.95 million hectare in the review period.

Total area under all major rabi crops was lagging behind at 12.96 million hectare so far from 13.92 million hectare in the year-ago period.

The Agriculture Ministry aims to produce 120.5 million tonnes of foodgrains during the rabi (winter) season. Sowing of rabi crops begins from October and harvesting from April.