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Kharif season: Six lakh hectares less cultivated this year compared to 2021

The Kharif season's sowing in India is almost complete. As of September 8, 2023, about 1088.50 lakh hectares have been sown

By Ground Report
New Update
State-wise Kharif Crop Production in the year 2023

The Kharif season's sowing in India is almost complete. As of September 8, 2023, about 1088.50 lakh hectares have been sown, which is slightly more than last year but still less than 2021. Until mid-August, the sowing progress was slow, but it improved later. However, pulse crops have lagged behind, with a reduction of 11.26 lakh hectares (8.59 per cent) compared to last year. In comparison to 2021, pulse sowing is down by 16.66 lakh hectares.

Pulse cultivation down compared to 2021

Among pulses, urad saw the most significant reduction, with a 13.98 per cent decrease compared to last year. Moong and pigeon pea also decreased by 7.60 per cent and 5.89 per cent, respectively. Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka are the most affected states, with a substantial decrease in pulse cultivation. Rajasthan, on the other hand, has increased pulse cultivation due to favourable rainfall earlier in the year.

According to figures from the Agriculture Ministry, farmers in the country have cultivated pulses in 119.91 lakh hectares during this Kharif season. In comparison, farmers had planted pulses crops in 131.17 lakh hectares in the country until the second week of September last year.

Photo Credit: E. Brabec/DeHaat Kisan App

This implies that the area under pulses has decreased by 11.26 lakh hectares (8.59 percent) so far this year. However, if we compare it with 2021, the sowing of pulses in the current season has decreased by 16.66 lakh hectares compared to that year.

Oilseed cultivation has also decreased, with 1.80 lakh hectares less than last year. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are among the states facing challenges in oilseed cultivation, with significant reductions in cultivated areas compared to previous years.

Kharif Crop sowing crosses 1088 lakh hectares

S. No. Crop Area Sown
2023 2022
1 Rice 403.41 392.81
2 Pulses 119.91 131.17
a Arhar 42.92 45.61
b Urdbean 31.89 37.08
c Moongbean 31.11 33.67
d Kulthi 0.31 0.29
e Other pulses 13.68 14.53
3 Shri Anna cum Coarse cereals 182.21 181.24
a Jowar 14.08 15.58
b Bajra 70.84 70.46
c Ragi 8.73 9.29
d Small millets 5.24 4.93
e Maize 83.33 80.97
4 Oilseeds 191.49 193.30
a Groundnut 43.73 45.30
b Soybean 125.40 124.06
c Sunflower 0.70 2.00
d Sesamum 11.98 12.97
e Niger 0.57 0.88
f Castor 9.00 7.94
g Other Oilseeds 0.11 0.14
5 Sugarcane 59.91 55.65
6 Jute & Mesta 6.57 6.97
7 Cotton 125.00 126.87
Total 1088.50 1088.02
Kharif season 2023

Sowing progress similar to 2022

Sowing figures this year improved slightly in some states after August. However, it's comparable to last year. To gauge successful sowing, it's better to compare with 2021 when irregular monsoons affected 2022 sowing.

In 2022, the final Kharif season sowing figures were lower at 1097.57 lakh hectares compared to 1111.36 lakh hectares in 2021, a 13.79 percent reduction. Despite this, October rains helped maintain crop production.

Paddy cultivation increased this year, with 403.40 lakh hectares planted compared to 392.81 lakh hectares last year. Still, it's 10.90 lakh hectares less than in 2021, affecting rice production in states like Jharkhand, Odisha, and Telangana.

Kharif season 2023. Photo Credit: IWMI Flickr

While Kharif sowing improved slightly, concerns rose due to August's insufficient rainfall. Rainfall was 36 percent below normal, and as of September 10, 2023, the country received 10 percent less rain than usual. Kerala, Jharkhand, Bihar, Manipur, and Mizoram faced significant rainfall deficits.

Central Water Commission data on September 6 revealed that the country's 150 reservoirs had 28 percent less water than their capacity, posing additional challenges for agriculture. Last year, reservoirs held 150.851 BCM of water, while their total capacity was 178.784 BCM.

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