Cereals being cultivated on 14.12 lakh hectares of land

The area under rabi cultivation in the State this season has come down by over four lakh hectares (ha.) from 34.39 lakh hectares in the last.

The Agriculture Department had set the target of cultivating rabi corps on 34.46 lakh hectares in the current season. The coverage, however, is 30 lakh hectares.

Cereals are being cultivated on 14.12 lakh hectares, pulses - 11.47 lakh hectares, oilseeds - 2.71 lakh hectares, and cash crops on 1.59 lakh hectares of land.

The coverage in terms of percentage of normal area under rabi cultivation (33.13 lakh hectares) is highest in the case of pulses followed by cereals, oilseeds and cash crops, according to officials in the Agriculture Department.

The main reason for the reduction in the area under rabi cultivation is a shift towards pulses, especially red gram, and cotton during the kharif season by farmers in northern parts of the State, the officials said.

Cereals

Among cereals, paddy is being cultivated on 0.25 lakh hectares, jowar -10.08 lakh hectares, ragi - 0.28 lakh hectares, maize - 1.03 lakh hectares, and wheat - 2.48 lakh hectares.

Area under wheat cultivation has come down by 1.04 lakh hectares when compared to the last season. There has been a drop in the area under sunflower and cotton cultivation too. Cotton is being cultivated on over 1.16 lakh hectares (last year 1.26 lakh hectares) while sunflower on 1.95 lakh hectares (last year 3.69 lakh hectares).

Among cash crops, sugarcane is being cultivated on 0.38 lakh hectares as against 0.34 lakh hectares last year.

In districts where potato, onion, tomato and chilli grown predominantly, sowing, inter-cultivation, land preparation, nursery-bed preparation and transplanting operations are under progress.

Rainfall

The production of foodgrains this season is expected to be normal owing to excessive rain during north-east monsoon in October-December. During the period, the State recorded 274.4 mm rainfall, 52 per cent more than the normal 180.9 mm. The soil moisture is adequate, according to the officials. However, excessive rain in November damaged crops, mainly paddy and maize, in several districts.

Normal monsoon during the 2010 kharif season led to sowing in over 72 lakh hectares. This led to a reduction in the area under rabi cultivation.

The State was expecting a record foodgrain production of 12.37 million tonnes in 2010-11 as there was no shortage of seeds or fertilizer, the officials said. The target for rabi and summer crops production is 36.5 lakh tonnes.

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