Rabi Planting up 6%, Chana may Stabilise
New Delhi: Rabi crop planting is 6% higher than last year, official data show, signalling a bumper harvest, moderate prices and lesser dependence on imports if the weather remains favourable.
Farmers have planted wheat in 318 lakh hectares, 7% higher than last year, which can raise output close to a record, officials said. Cargill India chairman Siraj Chaudhry said higher planting shows the situation is returning to normal after a good monsoon.
“Dependence on imports of pulses and wheat was triggered due to failure of planting and crop loss due to drought. That should not happen this year,” he said.
He said it was essential to ensure that farmers do not suffer if prices fall. Area under pulses has risen 11%.
“If the weather is conducive, prices of chana will stabilise. Current wholesale price of chana in Delhi market is .₹ 60 a kg while the government fixed price is .₹ 40 a kg,” said Rakesh Jain of Rajdhani pulses.Area under oilseeds, largely mustard, has increased 6%, which is good news for the consumers.
“Vegetable oil imports will fall by 0.5 million tonne to 14 million tonnes as rabi planting increases due to good water availability,” said BV Mehta, executive director at Solvent Extractors’ Association of India, which represents cooking oil companies. Water reservoirs have also maintained healthy levels, helping farmers.