HYDERABAD: Buoyed with the prospects of a significant high yield during kharif, the Agriculture Department is planning to cover 42 lakh hectares during the ensuing rabi. This is against the normal rabi area of 34.14 lakh hectares and 39.83 lakh hectares during the corresponding period in the previous year.

Of the targeted area, paddy cultivation would be taken up in 14.22 lakh hectares and pulses in 12.84 lakh hectares, while oilseeds and other crops would be grown in the remaining area. The department is expecting the foodgrain production to cross 100 million tonnes, provided there is no undue rainfall in the next couple of months. “Since transplantation is still continuing, we are expecting the total cropped area during kharif to be in excess of 81 lakh hectares,” Agriculture Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy said.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, the Minister said the department would ensure disbursal of Rs.11,000 crore crop loans during kharif and the banks had been asked to provide another Rs. 6,300 crore during rabi. The situation was favourable in all districts except for Kurnool where crops in 98,000 hectares had been inundated due to excess rain and floods. The Government had initiated steps for enumeration of losses and the affected farmers had been provided with input subsidies as well as seed at subsidised prices for taking up alternative crops. The Government had included five more districts – East Godavari (paddy), West Godavari (paddy), Vizianagaram (paddy), Kurnool (groundnut) and Medak (maize) – for implementing crop insurance.