The sowing of summer crops in Gujarat this year has exceeded 1.21 million hectares till March 31, 2014, a gain of 32 per cent from last year's summer sowing on 7,75,000 hectares. The state has completed 75 per cent summer sowing so far this year.
Among other crops, sowing of sesame seed in Gujarat has increased this year because of availability of water and favorable weather conditions.
These, along with good price for the crop, has encouraged farmers to sow the crop.
Sesame seed has been sown on 121,900 hectares till March 31, 2014 this year, according to the data provided by the agriculture department. This is 16 times more than last year's sowing, when the crop was sown on just 7,300 hectares. There has been a 246 per cent increase compared to last three years normal average area of 49,500 hectares.
Attributing the rise in sesame sowing to high kharif price, Sureshbhai Chandarana of Dhaval Agri Export from Rajkot said, "High price of kharif sesame has encouraged farmers to sow more in summer."
Price of the sesame seed had gone up to Rs 4,000 per 20 kg in November 2013 following a damage to the kharif crop and reduced production. Presently, sesame is priced between Rs 3,000 per 20 kg and Rs 3,200 per 20 kg. Last year, it was priced at Rs 2,200 per 20 kg.
An agriculture department official said that owing to a good monsoon in the state, water availability had increased and as a result, summer sowing has risen. The weather so far, the official said, has been favourable and yield of many crops is expected to rise.
Acreage of bajra, groundnut and onion has also risen this year. According to data, bajra has been covered on 2,58,700 hectares area in 2014 compared to 1,90,100 hectares in 2013.
Similarly, groundnut sowing has increased from last year's 74,900 hectares to 86,600 hectares this year.
Onion sowing has increased 10 times higher than last year.
Data shows that summer sowing of onion has been done on 11,100 hectares as against 1,100 hectares last year. Paddy sowing has risen from 26,500 hectares to 34,500 hectares this year.
Mung has been covered on 47,600 hectares areas this year as against on 27,800 hectares last year while urad sowing has increased from 300 hectares to 2,100 hectares this year.