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4 July 2024
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The area under kharif crops for the 2024-25 crop year (July-June) has increased by 33% to 24.1 million hectares as of June 28. According to the agriculture ministry, this increase is mainly due to an increase in cultivation of pulses, oilseeds and cotton. Farmers start sowing kharif crops with the first rains of the four-month southwest monsoon that begins in June. Kharif crops like paddy and maize need good rains.

Importance of monsoon

The timely arrival of monsoon is extremely important for the agriculture sector, as about 56% of the total cultivated area and 44% of food production depends on monsoon rains. Normal rainfall leads to better crop production, keeps food prices stable, especially of vegetables, and boosts economic growth. Agriculture contributes about 18% to India's GDP, making a good monsoon even more important.

Increase in pulses cultivation

Area under paddy remained almost stable at 2.2 million hectares year-on-year, while area under pulses grew 181% to 2.2 million hectares, including 1.3 million hectares for tur or tur and 318,000 hectares for urad. The government has encouraged farmers to cultivate more pulses to achieve self-sufficiency in pulses and oilseeds by 2027.

Area under oilseeds and cash crops

According to agriculture ministry data, area under oilseeds grew 18.4% to 4.3 million hectares, with soybean accounting for the largest area. Among cash crops, area under sugarcane and cotton also increased, while area under jute and mesta declined. Area under millets declined 15% year-on-year to 3 million hectares. Overall, the increase in area under kharif crops is expected to improve crop production and strengthen the agriculture sector.

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