Agriculture department offers incentives to boost paddy cultivation in DK

Agriculture department offers incentives to boost paddy cultivation in DK

Farmers to get Rs 4,000 per hectare for choosing mechanised transplanting

The area under paddy cultivation, which is the main Kharif crop, has declined by 10,290 hectares in Dakshina Kannada district from 1999-2000.

In 1999-2000, 38,290 hectares of land was under paddy cultivation in the district but the same has come down to 28,000 hectares in 2017-18.

The land under paddy cultivation has been consecutively shrinking over the years. From 38,290 hectares of land, the paddy cultivation area came down to 35,619 hectares in 2000-01, 34,378 hectares in 2001-02, 33,223 hectares in 2002-03 and 33,647 hectares in 2003-04.

It was 34,000 hectares six years ago. During 2010-11, the area under paddy cultivation in various areas was as follows: Mangaluru taluks 12,100 hectares, Bantwal - 9,500, Belthangady - 8,500, Puttur - 3,400 and Sullia - 500 during the Kharif season.

In 2016-17, the land area under cultivation reduced to the following: Mangaluru - 8,900 hectares, Bantwal - 8,800 hectares, Belthangady - 7,700 hectares, Puttur - 2,500 hectares and Sullia - 490 hectares.

A target to bring 28,000 hectares of land under paddy cultivation for the year 2017-18 was set.

“Shifting preferences to horticultural crops and a lack of price were responsible for the dwindling of area under paddy cultivation. Paddy fields are lost each year owing to rapid urbanisation as well,” farmers said.  

According to the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene district unit president Ravikiran Punacha, the district has 50,000 hectares of areca nut farms, 18,000 hectares of rubber plantations and 25 lakh coconut trees. Paddy is cultivated in Mangaluru, Bantwal and Beltangady taluks but is on a decline in Puttur and Sullia taluks.

“One of the main reasons as to why farmers replace paddy with horticultural crops each year is because they find paddy cultivation labour-intensive and less profitable. Many feel that paddy cultivation is not as remunerative as the horticultural crops. Further, a shortage of labourers aggravated the situation,” farmers said.

The MO 4 red variety is largely cultivated in the district as it offers yields in about 135 days. The department also supplies seeds of ‘Jaya’ and ‘Jyothi’ varieties as well.

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