NEW DELHI: Amid the lockdown, government has allowed farm activities to continue, which has resulted in minimum disruption in harvesting activities of winter crops and sustained sowing of summer crops, sown between March and June – the intervening period between Rabi and Kharif crops.

Of the Rabi crop harvesting, out of total wheat sown in 310 lakh ha, 63-67% has already been harvested in the country.

“Statewise harvesting has also increased and reached to 90-95% in Madhya Pradesh, 80-85% in Rajasthan, 60-65% in Uttar Pradesh, 30-35% in Haryana and 10-15% in Punjab,” said an agriculture ministry official.

He said that harvesting is in its peak in Haryana, Punjab, UP and is likely to be completed by the end of April 2020. Punjab has deployed 18000 combines and Haryana has deployed 5000 combines for harvesting and threshing.

Of the pulses sown in 161 lakh ha, harvesting has been completed for gram, lentil, urd, mung and field pea.

For sugarcane, out of the total sown in 54.29 lakh ha, harvesting has been completed in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Punjab.

For the states of Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Haryana and Uttarakhand, 92-98% harvesting has been completed. In Uttar Pradesh, 75-80% has been completed and this will continue till mid May 2020.

Rabi Rice sown in 28 lakh ha over the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura and West Bengal is in the initial stages of harvesting since the grain is still in the filling stage and harvesting times would vary.

Amongst the oilseed crops, Rapeseed Mustard sown in 69 lakh ha has been harvested in the states of Rajasthan, UP, MP, Haryana, WB, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Punjab, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and UT of J&K. Groundnut sown in 4.7 lakh ha, has been harvested to the tune of 85-90%.

While Rabi crops are being harvested, farmers have started sowing summer crops Which includes pulses, coarse cereals, nutri-cereals and oilseeds.

“The summer crop grown in the intervening period of Rabi and Kharif not only provides extra income but also creates lot of employment opportunities. The soil health is also improved through cultivation of the summer crop, particularly the pulses crop. Mechanised sowing has also helped the summer crops immensely,” the official said.

As on 17th April 2020, summer sowing in the country is 14% higher compared to last year during the corresponding period. The rainfall received in the season has been 14% higher compared to last year during the corresponding period which has been conducive for the sowing of summer crops. As on date, the total summer crop area has increased to 52.78 lakh hectares from 38.64 lakh hectares as compared to the the corresponding period a year ago. The area coverage under pulses, coarse cereals, nutria-cereals and oilseeds has increased to 20.05 lakh hectare from 14.79 lakh hectare as compared to last year during the corresponding period.

Oilseeds has been sown in around 7.4 lakh ha in the states of West Bengal, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Bihar. Jute sowing has also commenced in West Bengal and has benefited from the rainfall.

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