Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.

Rabi crop-sowing shrinks by 17 lakh hectares in ’23

To meet pulses challenges in the country, the government has extended import duty exemption on lentils by one year till March  2025.

NEW DELHI: The cultivation areas for rabi crops areas has shrunk by over 17 lakh hectares (Lha) this year,  which has emerged as a cause of concern among policy makers, as the sowing season is about to end. The sowing acreage of wheat and pulses has also reduced considerably. 

To meet pulses challenges in the country, the government has extended import duty exemption on lentils by one year till March  2025. The total sowing of rabi crops has been carried out only in 606.86 lakh hectares, which is less than 624.03 lakh hectares in the same period last year. 

The major rabi crop wheat has been sown only in 308.67 lakh hectares, which is 1.82 per cent less than 314.42 lakh hectares in the corresponding period last year. The domestic price of wheat is still reeling above the minimum support price of Rs 2,175 despite the government having taken different measures in the past 10 months.

The wheat production had been affected in the last two years, owing to to adverse weather conditions impacting the country’s buffer stock. In 2021-22, the government procured only 18.7 million metric tonnes (mmt) against the target of 44.4 mmt. Again in 2022-23, it procured 26.2 mmt against the target of 34.1 mmt.

The pulses challenges will continue as sowing of gram has reduced drastically across the states such as 
Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, except Madhya Pradesh. The Ministry of Finance on Friday issued a gazette notification extending import duty exemption on Masur Dal for one more year. While earlier the import duty on Masur Dal is valid up to March 31, 2024, it has been now extended to March 31, 2025.

Rabi paddy has been planted in only 12.67 Lha in the current Rabi, which is less than last year’s 14.04 lakh hectares. However, the sowing of mustard has increased slightly in the current rabi season to 
95.23 lakh hectares. Except mustard, other rabi oilseeds such as groundnut, safflower, seasamum, 
sunflower, linseed and others lagged in sowing.

Down trend
The total sowing of rabi crops has been carried out only in 606.86 lakh hectares (Lha), which is less than 624.03 Lha in the same period last year. Wheat has been sown only in 308.67 Lha, which is 1.82% less than 314.42 Lha last year.

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The New Indian Express
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