Wheat sowing picked up pace during the week ended December 22, crossing the normal acreage for the first time this season, according to data shared by the agriculture ministry on Friday.The crop had been planted in around 30.86 million hectares, which was around 575,000 hectares less than the area covered during the same period last year.

Normally, wheat is sown in around 30.73 million hectares. Normal area is the average area under a crop in the last five years.With wheat sowing in full swing, though in its last leg, the acreage of this key crop is expected to push up further in the coming weeks, officials said.In Madhya Pradesh, the wheat acreage is slightly lower than last year as on December 22, but it is way over the normal acreage. The drop could be due to reporting delays.A good wheat crop will help the government rein in cereal inflation in the coming months, provided the weather remains favourable till harvest time.The data also showed that among other crops, sowing of gram continued to drag in the major growing states of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Karnataka, while in Madhya Pradesh, the area covered is more than last year.The drop in acreage in Maharashtra could be due to insufficient rains and dry weather. In oilseeds, sowing of mustard is over , and the acreage is almost 2 per cent more than last year at 9.52 million hectares.Overall, rabi crops have been planted in around 60.68 million hectares till December 22, which is 2.76 per cent less than the area covered during the same period last year.Meanwhile, the water levels in reservoirs continued to remain lower than last year and also the 10-year average levels during the week ended December 21 due to low rains. This could impact irrigation in some parts.In a related development, the government has decided to allow import of edible oils and masur at nil duty till March 2025 to check rising prices.Farmers’ convention on MSP in JanFarmer groups under the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), in a two-day meeting of its coordination committee, has decided to convene an all-India convention in Punjab in January to press for legalising of minimum support price (MSP) for all crops and its procurement and freeing farmers from the debt trap.

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