VIJAYAWADA: The agriculture department has set a target of 58.75 lakh hectare for cultivation and 260.82 lakh metric tonne for production for 2023-24. While the targeted area of cultivation is 35.75 lakh hectare and production in 166.96 lakh metric tonne for Kharif season, the targeted area is 23 lakh hectare and production is 93.86 lakh metric tonne for the Rabi season. As per the third advanced estimates, the cultivated area under different crops in Kharif-2022 was 35.44 lakh hectare and Rabi-2022 was 20.17 lakh hectare and overall it was 57.06 lakh acre.
According to officials, area under paddy cultivation for Kharif has been targeted at 15.88 lakh hectare, while it was cultivated in 14.40 lakh hectare in previous Kharif. While the cultivation area for millets has been targeted more compared to the previous year, the area cultivated for maize cultivation has been reduced marginally for the Kharif season.
The area cultivated for pulses was 2.81 lakh hectare during the previous Kharif season and the same has been increased to 3.38 lakh hectare this time around. As against previous Rabi’s 7.37 lakh hectares, the target for Rabi 2023-24 is 9.08 lakh. If cultivation of total food grains was taken into account, they were cultivated in a total of 19.13 lakh hectares. Now for this Kharif, the targetted area is 21.39 lakh hectares, which is a considerable increase.
Groundnut is the major crop of Rayalaseema region, especially in Anantapur, Hinpdur, Kurnoo, Nandyal, parts of Kadapa and Chittoor. In the previous Kharif, it was cultivated in 4.97 lakh hectare, however, this time the targeted area is 6.9 lakh hectare. If oil seeds as a whole are taken into consideration, it was 6.75 lakh hectare during previous Kharif and it will be 7.48 lakh hectares this season. Cotton is another key crop cultivated during Kharif season. Compared to the previous Kharif, when it was cultivated in 6.82 lakh hectare, the target has been set at 6.18 lakh hectare this season.
Officials said these are estimated figures. “This year, basis the delayed monsoon, the availability of irrigation water will decide to what extent land will be cultivated. With coordination of all other departments, we are preparing the seeds and pesticides as per the targeted acreage of the corps,” a senior official told TNIE.