23 December 2022, New Delhi: Monitoring of rabi crops sowing has shown that momentum gained in the sowing of Rabi crops is progressing well. As of today, the area sown under rabi crops has increased by 4.37% from 594.62 lakh hectares in 2021-22 to 620.62 lakh hectares in 2022-23.
This is 25.99 lakh hectares more this year compared to the corresponding period of 2021-22. The increase in area is across all crops; the highest being in wheat. Out of the 25.99 lakh hectares increase in all rabi crops, the increase in wheat area is 9.65 lakh hectares from 302.61 to 312.26 lakh hectares.
Though the sowing of rabi crops is still in progress, the area brought under wheat this year (312.26) till Friday is more than the normal rabi sown area (304.47) and the total sown area of last year (304.70)
This increase in wheat area is very assuring in the background of the crisis faced by the world for wheat availability due to the Russia-Ukraine war and for ensuring our food security. Thus, a record area coverage and production of wheat are expected this year.
Oilseed production is a major cause of concern as the country has to spend heavily on the import of edible oils to meet domestic demand. In 2021-22, the country has to import 142 lakh tonnes of edible oils for Rs 1.41 lakh crore. The government’s focus is on increasing oilseed production to reduce import dependency on edible oils.
Due to renewed focus on oilseeds, the area under oilseeds increased from 93.28 lakh hectares during 2021-22 to 101.47 lakh hectares this year. This is a quantum jump of 22.66 lakh hectares over a normal sown area of 78.81 lakh hectares. It is even higher than the recording area of 93.33 lakh hectares attained during 2021-22. An increase in area under oilseeds at the rate of 9.60% is the highest among all crops. This is more than double the rate of increase of 4.37% in all crops together.
Rapeseed & Mustard contributed the maximum in increasing oilseeds area during this Rabi season. Mustard area increased by 7.32 lakh hectares from 85.35 lakh hectares in 2021-22 to 92.67 lakh hectares in 2022-23. Thus, out of the 8.20 lakh hectares increase in area under oilseeds, rapeseed & mustard alone accounted for 7.32 lakh hectares.
The area brought under cultivation of rapeseed & mustard till now is markedly higher than the normal sown area of 63.46 lakh hectares and the recording area attained during 2021-22. Implementation of the Special Mustard Mission for the last 2 years is mainly responsible for the renewed interest of farmers in the cultivation of mustard. During the last 2 years, the area of rapeseed & mustard increased by 17% from 68.56 in 2019-20 to 80.58 lakh ha in 2021-22.
During Rabi 2022-23. 26.50 lakh Seed Minikits of HYV having yield potential of more than 20 quintals per hectare were distributed to the farmers in 301 districts of 18 States under the National Food Security Mission- Oilseeds. Latest varieties like RH- 106, RH – 725, RH – 749, RH – 761, CS – 58, CS – 60, Giriraj, Pant Rai-20, GM-3, and PDZ -31 have yield potential in the range of 2500-4000 quintals per hectare were distributed. The higher area and productivity will bring a quantum jump in oilseeds production and bring down demand for imported edible oils.
Pulse production is being focused to make the country self-sufficient in these commodities. A special program under National Food Security Mission nicknamed NFSM ‘TMU370’ has been launched with aim of increasing the productivity of 370 districts having less than state average yields of pulses due to a lack of good seed and technological interventions. The area under pulses increased by 3.91 lakh hectares from 144.64 to 148.54 lakh hectares.
Lentil alone accounted for a 1.40 lakh hectares increase out of 3.91 lakh hectares for all pulses. Similarly area under gram cultivation increased by 0.72 lakh hectares. About 4.04 lakh seed mini kits of HYVs were distributed under ‘TMU370’ to farmers free of cost for lentils. The high-yielding varieties distributed included IPL 220, IPL 315, IPL 316, and IPL 526. For urad, 50,000 seed mini kits of LBG-787 were distributed among farmers of selected districts.
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