Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Govt to farmer: Don't sow until after onset of monsoon


To safeguard the interests of farmers in the face of forecast of a not-so-good monsoon, the state agriculture department has released certain guidelines for all major kharif crops like cotton, soyabean, pigeon pea or tur, green gram or mung, black gram or urad in Vidarbha through the two division offices. The department also has a contingency plan in place in case of failure of monsoon or extended dry spells.

This year the department has set specific targets for the krishi sevaks to cover a minimum 100 hectare area and reach the guidelines and contingency plan to farmers. It is also stressing on water conservation under Jalyukta Shivar campaign of Fadnavis government to protect the crops in case of less or erratic rains. The first important guideline is not to sow until after onset of monsoon and until the area has receives at least 65-100 mm rainfall.

The joint director of Amravati division (covering five districts of Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Washim and Yavatmal) S Sardar told TOI the department was ensuring that the farmers followed all in situ (in soil) conservation practices so that even with scarce rains, resowing could be avoided. Farmers should also follow the broad based furrows (BBF) method of cultivation for soyabean and other crops except cotton.

"The government is giving 50% subsidy on rotavator, the machine used for BBF, which costs about Rs80,000. Intercropping is another method known to farmers but not practiced so well. Krishi sevaks will ensure farmers used this method," said Sardar.

Joint director Nagpur division Vijay Gawhate said that though earlier there was prediction of dry spells during the season, the latest forecast has given a better picture. Farmers should just follow water conservation techniques that allow retention of maximum water within the soil, he said. "If there is very little rain till July 25, then farmers should cultivate just tur.

The rice belt of Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Gondia and Bhandara districts will need special measures to avoid huge loss in case of scanty rains. Gawhate said farmers could go in for use of broadcasting method instead of nursery and transplantation method for paddy. For this they should soak the seeds in water for at least 24 hours before sowing. Farmers should not take hybrid or Bt cotton on light and medium soils.

Total expected area under soyabean in Nagpur division is 3.65 lakh ha while that of cotton is 6 lakh ha and 8.10 lakh under cotton. In Amravati division, of the 32 lakh hectare kharif area, 15 lakh ha will be under soyabean and 10 lakh under cotton and 10% under green or black gram.


Contingency plan

No sowing until 65mm to 100mm rainfall has occurred

* No change in variety of kharif crops needed

* In situ water conservation techniques

* If enough rainfall occurs sowing can be done till July 7, if less rains happen till July 15 farmers should totally avoid green and black gram

* In case of very scanty rains by July 16, farmers should also avoid jowar as foodgrain but it can be taken for fodder

* In case of scarce rains till July, cotton farmers should go for desi varieties rather than hybrids or Bt

* Soyabean farmers should try to use own seeds instead of buying from market. This will save cost in case of resowing

* Soyabean sowing should also be done after grading and germination test

* Soyabean - tur should be grown as intercrops in 6:1 or 4:1 ratio

* In case of less rains, paddy farmers should go for staggered nurseries in three phases to avoid wastage of entire crop. They should also opt for SRI method of cultivation

* Orange growers should make arrangement for protective irrigation

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Govt-to-farmer-Dont-sow-until-after-onset-of-monsoon/articleshow/47682650.cms

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