Area sown under rapeseed/mustard seed crop is higher 22.46% to 88.54 lakh hectare, while the coverage under wheat crop remains slightly lower so far in the ongoing 2021-22 rabi season, according to the latest data released by the agriculture ministry.
Wheat, the main rabi crop, has been planted at 325.88 lakh hectare as on Friday, compared with 329.11 lakh hectare in the year-ago period, it said.
Sowing of rabi crops like wheat begins in October and harvesting from April onwards.
According to the data, total area under oilseeds has increased sharply to 97.07 lakh hectare as on December 31, 2021 from 80.64 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.
Among oilseeds, rapeseed and mustard seed were covered in a maximum area of about 88.54 lakh hectare in the period under review as against 72.30 lakh hectare in the year-ago period. Area sown under groundnut remained flat at 3.64 lakh hectare, linseed at 2.57 lakh hectare, sunflower at 1.01 lakh hectare, safflower at 0.68 lakh hectare, sesamum at 0.30 lakh hectare, and other oilseeds at 0.33 lakh hectare in the period, the data showed.
Rise in the area under mustard seed crop is a positive sign for a country that depends on imports to meet 60% of its domestic requirement and is struggling to keep retail prices under check amid a global price rise situation.
In case of other major rabi crops, area sown under pulses remained slightly lower at 152.62 lakh hectare as on December 31, 2021 as against 154.04 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.
Gram, the main rabi pulse, was grown in a slightly higher area of 107.69 lakh hectare as against 105.68 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.
Area sown to lentil was marginally higher at 16.76 lakh hectare, while field pea was sown in 9.61 lakh hectare, kulthi in 3.34 lakh hectare, urad bean in 5.66 lakh hectare, moong bean in 2.29 lakh hectare and lathyrus in 3.32 lakh hectare so far in the ongoing rabi season of 2021-22 crop year (July-June).
There was less coverage under coarse-cum-nutri cereals as the total area was down at 45.05 lakh hectare as against 46.19 lakh hectare. Jowar sowing was lagging behind at 23.17 lakh hectare so far this rabi season as against 26.05 lakh hectare in the year-ago period, while coverage under maize was up at 14.80 lakh hectare as against 12.89 lakh hectare. Total area under all rabi crops rose to 634.68 lakh hectare so far in the 2021-22 rabi season from 625.04 lakh hectare in the year-ago period, the data showed.