Kharif season 2023: Despite rain in July, sowing not matching 2021 figures

Acreage of kharif crops reached the same level as last year by first week of August; but it is still less than in 2021  

By Raju Sajwan
Published: Tuesday 08 August 2023
Photo: Aishwarya Iyer / CSE__

Sowing reduced by 2.1 million hectares (mha) this year compared to 2021 though figures have improved due to rains in the second half of July, according to data from the Union Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

There has been an especially big impact on the sowing of kharif crops in the eastern states of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha.

Crops had been sown in 91.5 mha across the country until August 4, 2023. Crops had been sown in 91.2 mha in the first week of August last year. 

However, many states have not been able to touch last year’s sowing figures. For example, in Andhra Pradesh, sowing has been done in 1.3 mha this year, compared to 1.9 mha last year.

Similarly, 1.4 mha have been sown in Assam this year, compared to 1.53 mha last year. In Karnataka, 5.5 mha have been sown this year, but 0.66 mha have not been sown compared to last year.

In Maharashtra, sowing has been done in 14.12 mha this year, compared to 14.7 mha till the first week of August last year. In Odisha, sowing has been done in 2.1 mha this year, compared to 2.6 mha so far last year.

Paddy acreage has improved in the current season compared to last year, but is still much lower than in 2021. Till the first week of August last year, paddy had been planted in 27.37 mha. Due to good rains in some areas in the last week of July this year, the area under paddy in the country has now reached 28.3 mha.

In 2021, paddy had been sown in 31.413 mha by the first week of August. That is, the area under paddy is still 10 per cent less compared to 2021.

There have been reports of damage to paddy crop due to floods in Haryana and Punjab in the second week of July. Despite this, paddy acreage in these two states has shown improvement compared to last year.

Paddy sowing was severely affected in Bihar-Jharkhand last year. Almost the same thing happened this year. Despite this, the area of paddy in these two states in the current season has reached last year’s figures, but is still less than 2021.

Paddy was planted in 2.81 mha in Bihar till the first week of August 2021, but in 2023, paddy has been sown in 2.2 mha.

Similarly, in Jharkhand, paddy was planted in 1.24 mha in the first week of August 2021. But in 2023, paddy has been planted in only 0.47 mha, which is less than half.

In Odisha, paddy was sown in 2 mha in 2021. But in 2023, only 1.23 mha have been sown.

West Bengal is also lagging behind in this matter. In 2021, paddy was planted in 2.97 mha, but in the current season, only 1.71 mha have been sown.

The area under pulses has come down considerably this year. Pulses have been sown in 10.69 mha in the current season, while pulses were sown in 11.79 mha in the first week of August 2022 and 11.94 mha in 2021.

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