Farmers begin sowing in coastal dists

Farmers begin sowing in coastal dists

Agriculture activities delayed by late entry of monsoon, picks up pace now

Kharif sowing has picked up in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, with improvement in the south-west monsoon. The agricultural activities are going on at a normal pace.

The nursery preparations of paddy seedlings are ready on 2,390 hectare in Dakshina Kannada district. The target for Kharif season in the district is 28,700 hectare. This includes 9,000 hectare in Mangaluru, 8,800 hectare in Bantwal, 7,900 hectare in Belthangady, 2,500 hectare in Puttur and 500 hectare in Sullia.

“The delay in the onset of monsoon has delayed the preparations of seedlings in the district by a few days. Normally, the seedlings are prepared by the farmers by May end – however, this year, it was prepared after June 15. This will not affect the production,” said a Department of Agriculture official to Deccan Herald.

The target for paddy cultivation in Udupi district is 45,000 hectare. Chandrasekhar Naik, Udupi district Agriculture Department joint director, said that around 1,122 hectare of area has already been covered. Sowing and transplantation works are in progress.

As against the normal rainfall of 1,176.2 mm between January 1 and June 22 – and the 762.3-mm rainfall last year during the corresponding period – the district has received 606.8 mm this year. While the normal rainfall during June, after the onset of monsoon, is 941.8 mm, the district received just 454.5 mm this June. Last year, it was 475.8 mm.

Also, the rainfall in Udupi district from January to June 21, was 725.20 mm as against the expected rainfall of 911.90 mm. The rainfall for June is 604 mm as against the expected rainfall of 710.30 mm.

The joint director said that there is no scarcity of quality seeds and fertilisers. “A request has been made to the Karnataka State Seed Corporation to supply 2,600 quintal of MO4 and Jyoti quality seeds. About 2,392 quintal has already been supplied, of which 2,289 quintal of paddy seeds are distributed to 5,301 farmers,” he listed out.

The department has a target of distributing 3,900 tonnes of fertilisers comprising of DAP, MOP and urea by June end in Udupi. The target for April to September is 9490 tonne. Last year the department had the target to reach 45,000 hectares and 1.99 lakh tonnes of paddy production in the district. The recorded coverage during the previous Kharif season, however, is 43,210 hectares and the production is 1,77,935 tonness of paddy.

The farmers are entitled to avail of insurance facilities under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. The farmers will get Rs 51,000 insurance sum with two% (Rs 1,200) premium. Paddy is the notified crop under the scheme and 193 gram panchayats in Dakshina Kannada district are notified in the scheme.

Mangaluru ‘A’ hobli is not covered. In Udupi, all the 158 gram panchayats, the City Municipal Council and the Town Municipal Councils in the district are notified.

The farmers should enrol for the insurance before July 30. There is also local incident coverage under the scheme. The period from the day of transplantation to 15 days prior to harvesting is considered. The Raitha Samparka Kendras act as the outlets for various schemes initiated by the government.

Farmer Sathyanarayan Udupa said it is disheartening to observe that paddy cultivation is declining by the year. “It is the bonding towards the occupation which makes farming still in existence. A farmer usually gets Rs 1,200 per quintal of paddy which is not viable. We cannot even cover the production cost. The support price announced by the government is of no use, as it is announced in December and January. Usually, the harvesting season in the coastal district ends during September and October. Although the paddy cultivation is delayed by 15 days, we are hopeful as the region is getting good rainfall in the past few days,” said the farmer.

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