Summer planting has surged by 22.5% until Friday from a year ago, with the quantum and the geographical spread of seasonal showers improving, official data showed.
Area under various crops rose to 62.02 million hectare until Friday compared with 50.62 million hectare a year before, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. This came on the back of a 16% rise in seasonal rainfall until Wednesday, with particularly good showers in north-western and central parts of the country, according to the India Meteorological Department. As much as 86% of the country has received either normal or excess rainfall until Wednesday while 14% has witnessed deficient rainfall, it said.
Sowing of paddy has risen 11% from a week earlier to 15.48 million hectare. Summer crops are usually sown with the arrival of monsoon rains in June and harvested from mid-September.
Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said earlier this week that the country would reap a record harvest of summer-sown grains in the year through June 2013 if monsoon showers continue to be good in July and August, as projected by the weather office. The weather office has projected good monsoon rains through August even in the north-eastern region, which has received deficient rains so far.
The country had produced a record 131.27 million tonne of grains in 2011-12 although output dropped in kharif last year due to dry spells in parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
As of Friday, cereal planting rose to 12.66 million hectare compared with 9.54 million hectare, the