Thursday, 26 February 2015

Advantage of rain-fed farming neglected

Cultivation in irrigated lands is easy compared to rain-fed lands, as farmers are completely dependent on the rains. In an effort to come to the rescue of rain-fed irrigation farming community, the Karnataka Government has taken up promoting millets in a large way.
As part of that millets were introduced in the PDS supply system and being given at the cost of rice under the Public Distribution System. However, this is not being accorded priority in Telangana State.
Two districts – Hassan and Bijapur, where rain-fed farming is taken up in large areas, were identified by Karnataka Government to procure millets – jowar and ragi - from the farmers. While the minimum support price (MSP) offered by the Union Government for millets was Rs.1,550 per quintal, the Karnataka Government has been extending an incentive of Rs.450 making it Rs. 2,000 per quintal.
“Weather conditions are worse in our state. About 70 per cent of the farming in Karnataka is rain-fed and that is why we are according top priority for farming and trying to help them out through programmes like Bhuchetana,” said Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byregowda, who was at the International Crops Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) at Patancheru.
The Government of Karnataka got prepared to procure as much quantity of millets as possible from the farmers. “The millets have enormous calorific/nutritional value. Even the fodder is good for cattle and that is one of the reasons for promoting millets. We are also focusing not only on procurement, but also on consumption of millets,” says Mr. Byregowda.
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