Today News Online Service
New Delhi, April 23
For the second successive year, the area under summer crops is showing an increasing trend in the country. The summer sowing in the country, as on date (April 23), is 21.5 per cent higher than it was last year during the corresponding period, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
While the total summer crop area has increased to 73.76 lakh hectares from 60.67 lakh hectares a year ago in the corresponding period, a noteworthy increase has been in area of pulses, it said. As on April 23, the area under pulses increased to 12.75 lakh ha from 6.45 lakh ha, an increase of nearly 100 per cent. The increase in area has been reported from Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Area under oil seeds also increased to 10.45 lakh ha from 9.03 lakh ha, an increase of around 16 per cent over last year, the ministry said, adding that growth has been reported from West Bengal, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The rice coverage increased to 39.10 lakh ha from 33.82 lakh ha, an increase of around 16 per cent. Rabi rice has been reported from West Bengal, Telangana, Karnataka, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, it added.
Summer crops not only provide extra income but also create employment opportunities. Another major gain is the improvement in soil health, particularly through the pulses crop, say officials.
Growing summer/Zaid crops based on the availability of soil moisture and other climatic conditions is an old practice in India, particularly for meeting the additional domestic requirement of food grains and feeding livestock. Farmers also cultivate summer paddy crops in some states for their domestic use based on water availability. To develop a road map, the Zaid National conference was held in January 2021 in which discussion with states was held on the challenges, prospects and strategies, they add.