New Delhi, Apr 12: Sowing of the summer crops has progressed satisfactorily despite the difficulties experienced due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the 21-day lockdown effective since 24th March midnight to fight the COVID-19 disease.
Statistics compiled by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare as on 10th April, 2020 revealed that the total area under the Summer Crops (including Rice, Pulses, Coarse Cereals and Oil Seeds) cultivation has jumped significantly, registering 11.64 lakh hectare increase over last year, overcoming the restrictions and social distancing norms witnessed since last month, particularly after the lockdown w.e.f. 25th March. As against a total cultivated area of 37.12 lakh ha in the year 2018-19, the summer crops have been sown in an area of 48.76 lakh ha this year, 2019-20.
The normal area of corresponding week in the last year was 41.81 lakh ha as on 10th April. Among the Summer Crops, the main driver of this growth in cultivable area is Rice, clocking a robust 8.77 lakh ha increase in Sown area. All other crops have registered increase in sown area below 1 lakh ha, barring Ragi coarse cereal which has registered a marginal decline of 0.06 lakh ha over the last year. About 32.58 lakh ha area coverage under Summer Rice has been reported compared to 23.81 lakh ha during the corresponding period of last year.
The area has been reported mainly from the States of West Bengal (11.25 lakh ha), Telangana (7.45 lakh ha), Odisha (3.13 lakh ha), Assam (2.73 lakh ha), Karnataka (1.64 lakh ha), Chhattisgarh (1.50 lakh ha), Tamil Nadu (1.30 lakh ha), Bihar (1.22 lakh ha), Maharashtra (0.65 lakh ha), Madhya Pradesh (0.59 lakh ha), Gujarat (0.54 lakh ha) and Kerala (0.46 lakh ha). (UNI)