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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Sowing of rabi crops at 9 per cent in state

Another reason cited by the official is that farmers are exploring possibilities of using the available surplus water for cultivating sugarcane in larger areas.

By: Express News Service | Rajkot |
November 8, 2021 8:27:49 pm
MSPSowing of rabi (winter) crops begins from October immediately after the harvest of kharif (summer) crops. Wheat and mustard are major rabi crops. (File photo)

Sowing of crops for the rabi season stood at just 9 per cent in Maharashtra at the end of the first week of November.

Of the total area under rabi crop — 52 lakh hectares — sowing was completed on just 4.68 lakh hectares till November 8. Last year sowing was completed in 20.8 lakh hectares for the same period.

State Agriculture Minister Dadasaheb Bhuse said, “The agriculture department is well prepared to offer all possible help, financial and logistical, to farmers.”

Since the state witnessed a good monsoon for the second consecutive year, the area under rabi crop could increase up to 60 lakh hectares.

Admitting that rabi sowing is almost 40 per cent less compared to last year, a senior officer in the agriculture department said, “The return rains which continued till October third week were intense in several districts. The heavy rains coupled with thunderstorms damaged the fields. As a result, farmers are exercising caution and not rushing with rabi crop sowing.”

Another reason cited by the official is that farmers are exploring possibilities of using the available surplus water for cultivating sugarcane in larger areas.

“The cash crop sugarcane, which is relatively less vulnerable to climatic conditions compared to pulses and cereals, promises higher renumeration to farmers,” he added.

The main crops of the rabi season include wheat, maize, gram, sesame, mustard, peas, oats, jowar, bajra. Rabi sowing begins in October and concludes in mid-November. Sugarcane plantation for rabi commences from December.

The preliminary report from agriculture kendras in drought-prone Marathwada has indicated that sugarcane plantation is likely to increase this rabi season. All eight districts of Marathwada have surplus water in rivers, ponds and dams.

The water levels in dams have increased by 4.93 per cent 2021-22 compared to 2020-21, according to data from water resources ministry.

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