Drought hits pulses output; shortfall at 4.5 lakh tonnes

Drought hits pulses output; shortfall  at 4.5 lakh tonnes

 Owing to acute drought conditions, production of pulses has taken a hit, said Agriculture minister Krishna Byre Gowda on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Gowda said that Karnataka had witnessed a shortfall of 4.5 lakh tonnes of pulses, including tur, red gram, green gram, black gram and horse gram.

The production target in 2015-16 was 16 lakh tonne, but Karnataka could only produce 12.5 lakh tonne, which had led to the steep rise in prices. However, there is sufficient stock of other foodgrains, he added.

To check the price rise, Gowda said that Karnataka had sought the Centre’s intervention. The state has sought a share in the pulses imported by the Centre, he said.

Seed shortage

With sowing season fast approaching, Karnataka is finding it difficult to procure seeds to be distributed to farmers.

Karnataka’s seed requirement this year was 6.45 lakh quintals, while last year it was only 4.29 lakh quintal. However seed companies, including state-owned seed corporations, were trying to cash in on the department’s predicament.

“This year, the seed requirement is high. Sensing this, seed companies, including the Karnataka Seeds Corporation, National Seeds Corporation and Oilseeds Growers Federation, are all quoting higher rates. The department is into hard bargaining,” he said.
He said disbursement of input subsidy to farmers who have incurred crop loss was delayed as the department was in the process of introducing Real Time Gross Settlement Systems (RTGS), which facilitates immediate transfer of money from one bank to another.

Production target

 Foodgrain production target for 2016-17: 135 lakh tonnes
 Production in 2014-15: 126 lakh tonnes
 Production in 2015-16: 110 lakh tonnes
 Projection for current year: Improved production as good rains are expected

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