Wheat sowing area down by 23% this rabi season; Punjab, MP top laggards

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Wheat sowing continued to lag by 23 per cent at 32.98 lakh hectare in the ongoing rabi (winter) season so far compared to the previous season due to a significantly lower coverage in Punjab and Madhya Pradesh, according to the Agriculture Ministry's data released on Friday.

Area sown to most rabi crops remained lower in this rabi season, which begins from October.

Wheat, the main rabi crop, was sown in 32.98 lakh hectare area so far this season as against 42.80 lakh hectare in the year ago period, the data showed.

Total wheat area was lower as the crop in Punjab was sown in only 7.81 lakh hectare so far in the current rabi season against 14.68 lakh hectare in the last season.

In Madhya Pradesh, farmers planted wheat crop in 5.34 lakh hectare area this year so far against 9.20 lakh hectare in the last year.

Among other rabi crops, area under pulses remained lower at 45.60 lakh hectare against 54.20 lakh hectare, while that of oilseeds at 46.12 lakh hectare against 47.36 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.

Rice was sown in 6.27 lakh hectare area so far this season against 6.51 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.

Coarse cereals were sown in 46.12 lakh hectare as against 47.36 lakh hectare in the said period.

Total area sown to all rabi crops remained lower at 148.23 lakh hectare so far this season, compared to 167.68 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.

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