For the second successive year, as a result of meticulous planning and concerted efforts of the States and the Central government, along with the hard work of the farmers, the area under summer crops has shown an increasing trend in the country. The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has taken new initiatives for the scientific cultivation of summer crops such as pulses, coarse cereals, Nutri-cereals and oilseeds.
As on 23rd April 2021, summer sowing in the country is 21.5% higher than it was last year during the corresponding period. The total summer crop area has increased to 73.76 lakh hectares from 60.67 lakh hectares a year ago during the corresponding period.
A noteworthy increase has been seen in the area of pulses. As on 23rd April 2021, the area sown under pulses has increased to 12.75 lakh ha from 6.45 lakh ha, which shows nearly a 100% increase. The increased area is mainly reported from the states of Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Karnataka etc.
Oilseeds have increased to 10.45 lakh ha from 9.03 lakh ha, which is an increase of around 16%. The area has been reported from West Bengal, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh etc.
Rice has increased to 39.10 lakh ha from 33.82 lakh ha, which is an increase of around 16%. Rabi rice has been reported from the states of West Bengal, Telangana, Karnataka, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, etc.
Summer sowing is likely to be completed by the first week of May and the area has increased significantly. Summer crops not only provide extra income but also create employment opportunities. A major gain by the cultivation of summer crops is the improvement in soil health, particularly through the pulses crop.
Encouraging water levels in almost all reservoirs helped in protecting both the Rabi crop as well as summer crops. As whole productivity & production is expected to increase significantly.
Growing summer/Zaid crops based on the availability of soil moisture and other climatic conditions is an old practice in India, particularly for meeting the additional domestic requirement of food grains and feeding livestock. Farmers also cultivate summer paddy crops in some states for their domestic use based on water availability. By using scientific cultivation practices, farmers have started sowing summer crops through seed drill/zero till after treating the seeds.
Farmers have started cultivating high yielding varieties and using post-harvest value addition technologies for higher productivity and economic gains.
To develop a road map, the Zaid National conference was held in January 2021 in which discussion with States was held on the challenges, prospects and strategies. Thereafter, for maximising production, timely arrangement of inputs like seeds and fertilizers mobilization along with deployment of extension staff was ensured. For technical support, close coordination between State Agricluture Universities (SAUs) and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) was ensured, which are vital at the district and grassroots level.