India’s wheat plantation acreage surge in rabi season 2018-19; rice, pulses, oilseeds decline

According to the latest official data from the ministry of agriculture, wheat sown in India reached 298.47 lakh hectare so far in the rabi season 2018-19 as against 299.84 lakh hectare a year ago. Sowing of wheat, the main rabi crop, begins from October and harvesting from March-April.

However, sowing of rice, pulses, coarse cereals and oilseeds remained slightly lower than the year-ago period, the ministry said in a statement.

Farmers have planted wheat in 99.13 lakh hectare in Uttar Pradesh, 59.11 lakh hectare in Madhya Pradesh, 35.02 lakh hectare in Punjab, 25.16 lakh hectare in Haryana and 22.56 lakh hectare in Bihar so far.

In the case of pulses, about 156.30 lakh hectare was covered till February 14 of this season, lower than 166.11 lakh hectare a year ago. Gram, Urad, Lentil and Moong are main rabi pulses. Oilseeds acreage was at 80.40 lakh hectare so far this season, close to 80.98 lakh hectare during the season a year ago.

Coarse cereals were covered in 48.69 lakh hectare as against 57.02 lakh hectare, while rice was sown in 33.96 lakh hectare as compared with 39.64 lakh hectare in the year-ago period. The total area sown for all rabi crops was lagging behind at 617.83 lakh hectare so far this season as compared with 643.60 lakh hectare in the corresponding period last year.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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