Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: There has been a shortfall in the sowing of kharif coarse cereals this season although the sowing of other crops has exceeded last year’s levels, the weekly meeting of the Crop and Weather Watch Group in the Ministry of Agriculture was informed on Friday.

The sowing of various coarse cereals has ended in almost all States and the shortfall in jowar and bajra is attributed to diversion to maize and other cash crops. The area coverage under jowar, so far, is 34.40 lakh hectares against 36.66 lakh hectares during last year. The sowing of bajra is 83.24 lakh hectares against 91.82 lakh hectares last year. Maize sowing, at 76.78 lakh hectares against 72.45 lakh ha last year, is much higher. The total area under coarse cereals is 216.09 lakh hectares against 221.01 lakh hectares in the corresponding period last year.

Total coverage

The total coverage of kharif rice has gone up to 365.92 lakh hectares as compared to 364.22 lakh hectares last year. But for Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa and Tamil Nadu, transplantation is coming to en end in other States. The area covered under cotton so far is 90.94 lakh hectares against 87.48 lakh hectares during the corresponding period of last year. Of this 53.32 lakh hectares is under Bt Cotton.

Sugarcane

The total coverage under sugarcane has been reported at 51.04 lakh hectares against 48.32 lakh hectares during the corresponding period last year. The coverage under jute is 8.29 lakh hectares against 8.18 lakh hectares at the same time last year. Mesta has been sown in 1.47 lakh hectares against 1.53 lakh hectares during the corresponding period of last year.

Oilseeds

The total coverage of oilseeds so far has been 175.99 lakh hectares compared to 163.55 lakh hectares on September 27, last year. Soyabean has been sown in eight per cent higher and groundnut in 14 per cent higher area as compared to that in 2006. Pulses coverage is in an area of 124.79 lakh hectares against 112.41 lakh hectares till this time last year.

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