According to the agriculture department, the target was to cultivate paddy in 35,000 hectares in the district. This include Mangalore—12,500 hectares, Bantwal—9,600 hectares, Belthangady—8510 hectares, Puttur—3900 hectares and Sullia—490 hectares.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Agriculture Officer K P Palichandra said that sowing has been completed in 17,068 hectare as on July 12. This includes Mangalore—7,120 hectares, Bantwal—2630 hectares, Belthangady—5,980 hectares, Puttur—1,050 hectares and Sullia —288 hectares. Last year, sowing had been completed in 18,679 hectares.
“The region received good rainfall in the month of June compared to last year. Hence, there was no delay in sowing and transplanting seedlings,” he said.
The department had procured 677.80 quintal paddy seeds for the kharif season. So far, 480.50 quintal seeds have been distributed among farmers.
About 197.30 quintal seeds have been stocked.
“We are providing a subsidy of Rs 1,000 for one quintal paddy seeds.”
The seeds normally used for harvesting are MO4, Uma, Jyothi, MTU 1001. The farmers were demanding MO4 in the beginning of the kharif season. However, now the seeds which are in demand are Uma, Jyothi, which are known for less duration for harvesting. The crops will be ready by October to harvest,” he added.
The official said the agricultural land has been declining over the years in Dakshina Kannada district. Many agricultural lands have been converted into non-agricultural land. This is causing a major concern for the department.
The total area of paddy cultivation in the district, which include kharif, rabi and summer, has decreased from 55,948 hectares in 2007-08 to 55,213 hectares in 2009-10.
The official said that there are several reasons which contribute to the decrease in the paddy cultivation in the district. “Conversion of agriculture land is one of the major reasons, which leads to decrease in the area of paddy cultivation.”
‘No shortage of fertilisers’
Though the Dakshina Kannada district is facing shortage of Suphala brand of NPK fertiliser that is in demand by farmers, overall there is no shortage of the fertilisers in the district. The officer-in-charge of fertilisers said “DK’s requirement of Suphala for the current kharif season is 6,500 tonnes. The agriculture department had received around 1,000 tonnes of Suphala fertliser from the Centre. As the farmers were using this particular fertiliser so far, they are demanding the same. Instead of Suphala, one can use 10:26:26, 20:20 fertiliser complexes. The district has enough quantity of urea, DAP, Rock Phosphate. Farmers need not worry over shortage of Suphala. Instead, they can manage with the available fertilisers.”
“The department has been trying to create an awareness among farmers to make use of other available fertilisers instead of suphala,” he added.