Area under kharif crops, including paddy, has increased by 22.51% to 620.20 lakh hectares so far, thanks to the monsoon rain.
The acreage of paddy, a major kharif (summer-sown) crop, also rose by 11.06% to 154.85 lakh hectares so far from 139.42 lakh hectares in the year-ago period, according to the agriculture ministry's data. Paddy area is higher in Punjab and Haryana compared to other states.
"Sowing of kharif crops has picked up further this week. The total sown area as on July 19, as per reports received from states, stands at 620.20 lakh hectares compared to 506.21 hectares at this time last year," an official statement said.
The sowing of kharif (summer) crops begins with the onset of the southwest monsoon from June. So far, the country has received an excess of 21% rainfall since the onset of monsoon this year.
The advancement in monsoon rain encouraged even pulse farmers, who have cultivated the crop on 31.62 lake hectares as of now. In the same period last year, pulses were sown on 20.54 lakh hectares.
Oilseeds farmers also took up sowing in a big way, taking advantage of the rains as the acreage increased to 149.82 lakh hectares so far compared to 108.81 lakh hectares in the same period last year.
Similarly, area sown for coarse cereals increased to 126.64 lakh hectares from 95.43 lakh hectares in the review period.
Among cash crops, cotton sowing picked up and its acreage has increased to 100.55 lakh hectares so far this season as compared to 83.74 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.
However, sugarcane planting declined to 48.45 lakh hectares mainly in Maharashtra and Karnataka, as against 50.04 lakh hectares in the same period last year.