Gujarat is all set to report record sowing of summer crops such as pulses, oilseeds, cereals and vegetables this year. This is attributed to adequate availability of water and demand pushing up prices of these crops.
As per the data of the state agriculture department, progressive sowing area of the 2022 season under all summer crops have crossed one million hectare (mh) against the last three year’s average sowing of 0.89 mh. This is an increase of more than 23% over last year. Last year, the summer crops were sown in 0.81 mh.
Farmers in Gujarat resorted to pulses this summer season as they earned handsomely from these cash crops during the previous two years. Availability of groundwater is another reason for the increased acreage in the summer season.
Acreage of pulses has risen to 90,000 hectares compared with a three-year average of around 54,000 hectares. During the last summer season, pulses were sown in 63,000 hectares across Gujarat. Sowing of oilseeds too increased from 0.1 million hectares to 0.16 million hectares. This rise is due to widespread sowing of sesamum (til). Some Gujarat farmers are also experimenting on soyabean as one of the summer crops.
Acreage of another oilseed crop groundnut too has gone up from 49,200 hectare to as high as 60,000 hectares on year, especially in Saurashtra and North Gujarat regions.
Interestingly, there has been only a marginal rise in sowing of cereals from the past three years average of 0.315 million hectare to 0.3.2 million hectares in the current summer season. However, compared to previous summer season’s 0.28 million hectares, there has been significant increase in acreage of cereal crops, as per the latest data of the state agriculture department. Some of the other crops, including onion, vegetables, fodder and guargum, the sowing areas increased this summer season compared to past three years average as well as last year’s sowing areas. Sowing of sugarcane, which requires lots of wager, has increased from 6,767 hectares to 8,823 hectares.