Steep decline in paddy cultivation area

Steep decline in paddy cultivation area

There has been considerable decline in the area under paddy cultivation in Udupi district. In the last 13 years alone, about 31,371 acres of fertile farm land has been utilised for non agriculture activities.

Farming was taken up in 1,45,893 hectares by growing paddy, oil seeds and horticulture crops in the district. However, now the area under agriculture has been reduced to 1,14,522 hectares.

Farmers feel that industrialisation, urbanisation and lack of marketing facilities for the crops and anti-farmers’ policy of the government has led to decline in the area under cultivation.

In 1998-99, paddy was grown in 69,594 hectare. However, the area under paddy cultivation came down to 55,340 hectares in 2011-12.

The area under dicotyledon, oil seeds, and horticulture crops has come down to 6,364, 950 and 9,803 hectares respectively. In 2001-02, the paddy production was 2.09 lakh tonnes. However, it has come down to 2.07 lakh in 2009-10.

Sugarcane was grown in 1,770 hectare in 1998-99. However, the area under sugarcane cultivation has come down to 123 hectare in 2011-12.

The production of horticulture crop was good in Udupi district 10 years ago. The horticulture crops were grown in 61,496 hectare in 2002-03 and the area under cultivation has come down to 51,693 hectare in 2010-11.

The horticulture crops in Udupi district can be divided into six categories namely arecanut, coconut, rubber, spices, medicinal and scented plants.

In 2002-03, about 2,34,200 metric tonne horticulture crops were grown in Udupi district.
The cost of these produce was 29,209 lakh. In 2010-11, about 1,90,445.40 metric tonne horticulture crops were grown worth Rs 51,449.36 lakh.

Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene state vice-president Vijayakumar Hegde said “agriculture activities in and around the thermal power plants were affected soon after the plant commissioned. At the same time, acres of farm land was acquired by the UPCL.”

He said lack of support from the government and steep fall in the prices of agriculture crops resulted in the decline in the area under cultivation.

Assistant Horticulture Officer Guruprasad said that urbanisation has taken over majority of the farm land. With the division of the joint family, the land holdings also reduced and eventually farm land was converted into houses.

Farm land was also acquired in three villages for thermal power plant in the district.

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