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Govt data shows note ban hasn’t hit sowing

Govt data shows note ban hasn’t hit sowing
NEW DELHI: With 4-5 days still to go for sowing operation of rabi crops, the country is looking at the prospect of having the highest acreage of winter crops in the past five years. Adding to the good news, rains in some parts of the country in the past couple of days could also mean a better yield situation as well.

Latest sown area data, released by the agriculture ministry on Friday , seems to indicate that the fear of demonetisation leading to a drop in farm yields due to cash-strapped farmers inability to access inputs was largely unfounded. It clearly shows that the acreage of major rabi crops (wheat and pulses) has not only crossed the corresponding figures of last year but also beat the `normal’ (expected under positive conditions) sown area of the season.

Total rabi sown area as on Friday stands at 637.34 lakh hectares as compared to 600.02 lakh hectares at this time last year (over 6% higher). It has almost touched the `normal’ rabi sown area (638.37 lakh ha) in what could be a clear sign that the sowing operation was not affected by the note ban the way it was feared in mid-November.

“Farmers do not need to depend on the market to buy their entire requirement of seeds. As far as other inputs including fertilisers are concerned, they could probably manage it with the system where they can easily get things on credit in rural areas“, said an official.

Figures of acreage for wheat and pulses are, in fact, encouraging as sown areas of both these crops crossed their `normal’ area by a good margin. The sown area under wheat stands at 315.55 lakh hectares as compared to its `normal’ area of 304.05 lakh hectares. It was 292.52 lakh hectares at this time last year.

“Since farmers are still left with 4-5 days of sowing operation, it is expected that the acreage this year will cross the 642.89 lakh hectares mark of the year 2013-14 when the country had witnessed good monsoon rains“, said an official in the agriculture ministry who is tracking the development.





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