Rice planting dips by 46% from last year in India

According to agricultural ministry data released on Friday, Indian farmers have so far planted 1.96 million hectares of summer-sown rice, a 46 percent decrease from last year mostly because of the monsoon’s slow start.

The monsoon has picked up momentum, improving the outlook. More than half of the nation has had summer showers, and the rainfall deficit has decreased from 36% to 2%.

According to B.V. Krishna Rao, president of the All India Rice Exporters Association, planting has barely begun, and the area planted with rice might increase if monsoon rains speed up.

From June, when India’s monsoon season normally begins, farmers often begin planting a variety of crops, including rice, corn, cotton, soybeans, sugarcane, and peanuts. Typically, sowing lasts through July.

Roughly half of India’s farmland lacks irrigation, making monsoon rains essential to the industry, which employs nearly 50% of the country’s workers.

As it receives additional data from state governments, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare will continue to update the preliminary crop sowing estimates.

Depending on how the June–September monsoon season develops, the planting estimates may also need to be revised.

3.18 million hectares of cotton were planted in total, down from 3.73 million hectares in the previous year. Over cotton-growing regions in Gujarat and Maharashtra states in the west, monsoon rainfall have been scarce.

To assist producers plant the crop, rainfall must speed up since farmers only have a little window of time to finish cotton sowing.

The largest summer oilseed crop, soybeans, were sown on 278,000 million hectares, up from 1.25 million hectares at the same period in 2021.

Compared to 132,000 hectares last year, 202,000 hectares of rice pulses were planted.

However, Nitin Kalantri, a trader based in Maharashtra, predicted that the area planted to pulses may decrease over the next weeks as some farmers move to cotton and soybean, which are more profitable.

5.07 million hectares of sugarcane were planted, basically unchanged.

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