Gargi Parsai

Cultivation of kharif pulses higher than last year

40.37 lakh hectares under Bt cotton

NEW DELHI: The National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting under the Ministry of Earth Sciences has predicted that the weak spell of monsoon would continue over central and peninsular India for the next four to five days. This has begun to cause anxiety since the agricultural sector is aiming to achieve a growth rate of four per cent.

A meeting to review the crop and weather situation in the Ministry of Agriculture on Friday noted that rice transplantation had been undertaken in States such as Assam, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab and West Bengal. The total coverage was reported to be 154 lakh hectares against 154.27 lakh hectares last year.

The sowing of oilseeds picked up in the last week, especially of groundnut in Andhra Pradesh, and soyabean in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Oilseeds were sown on 137.42 lakh hectares against 129.13 lakh hectares sown during the corresponding period last year. Acreage under sunflower and sesamum remained slightly lower than last year.

The review panel noted that the sowing of coarse cereals was on in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The area coverage under jowar stood at 28.67 lakh hectares against 30.31 lakh hectares last year. Bajra was reported to be much higher at 70.28 lakh hectares against 54.86 lakh hectares last year, while maize has so far been sown on 64.55 lakh hectares against 60.42 lakh hectares last year.

Area covered under cotton was 73.73 lakh hectares against 66.12 lakh hectares in the corresponding period last year. Of this, 40.37 lakh hectares was reported to be under Bt cotton.

The area coverage remains high at 51.16 lakh hectares compared to 48.32 lakh hectares last year for sugarcane.

The cultivation of kharif pulses too was higher at 84.94 lakh hectares against 74.88 lakh hectares last year.

Only the area under arhar dal was lower at 26.97 lakh hectares against 27.53 lakh hectares.

Live storage

Central Water Commission representative informed the panel that the total live storage in 78 important reservoirs in the country was 76.920 billion cubic meters (BCM) on July 26, against 57.120 BCM during the corresponding period last year. This is 53 per cent of the storage capacity at the Full Reservoir Level.