Good spell of rain triggers farming activity in Mysuru
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Good spell of rain triggers farming activity in Mysuru

May 19, 2024

Agriculture Department targets cultivation in 3.95 lakh hectares; starts seed distribution for early Kharif crops

Mysore/Mysuru: After enduring significant losses last year due to severe drought, farmers in the Mysuru region, particularly in the Cauvery catchment area, are now experiencing relief with the onset of rainfall, bringing smiles to their faces.

With the arrival of the rains, farming activities have picked up pace in the Mysuru region, including tilling the land and sowing seeds. Farmers are hopeful that the spell will continue till the actual monsoon sets in.

To assist farmers in recovering from their incurred losses, the Department of Agriculture has initiated the distribution of seeds for early Kharif crops, including uddu (black gram), hesaru bele (green gram), cowpea (alasande), maize (Musukina Jola) and sooryakanthi (sunflower).

Black gram seeds are being provided to farmers at Rs. 132.50 per kg for those in the general category, whereas the same is available at a discounted rate of Rs. 119.50 per kg for farmers belonging to SC/ST communities.

Similarly, cowpea seeds are priced at Rs. 110 per kg for the general category and Rs. 97.50 per kg for SC/ST farmers. Green gram seeds are offered at Rs. 161 per kg for the general category and Rs. 148.50 per kg for SC/ST farmers.

Additionally, the State Government has announced subsidies of Rs. 25 per kg for farmers in the general category and Rs. 37.50 per kg for farmers from SC/ST communities, further aiding them in their agricultural endeavours.

Speaking to Star of Mysore, B.S. Chandrashekar, Joint Director of the Department of Agriculture, expressed optimism about this year’s agricultural prospects with anticipated normal rainfall. Chandrashekar stated that the Department is targeting cultivation in 3.95 lakh hectares and has already commenced seed distribution to farmers over the past few weeks.

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In addition to black gram, green gram and cowpea, seeds for crops such as ragi, sunflower and maize will also be distributed, he added.

Farmers in Mysuru, Mandya, and Chamarajanagar have traditionally cultivated pulses as early kharif crops before the monsoon. Following this, they will sow ragi seeds and paddy during the monsoon season, while sugarcane remains a year-round crop.

B.D. Jayaram, Assistant Director of the Department of Agriculture, highlighted that their goal is to reach at least 50 percent of farmers in the region to provide them with seeds at subsidised rates. Additionally, he noted that many farmers opt to make use of the seeds they have prepared themselves for cultivation alongside those distributed by the department.

Despite the anticipated good monsoon this season, farmers express concern over the timing of sowing seeds for pulses, fearing that they may have missed the window and will now have to wait for the monsoon to cultivate ragi and paddy crops.

Hosakote Basavaraj, President of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Mysuru, highlighted that although rainfall has been received, the optimal time for sowing cowpea and black gram has passed, leaving only horse gram (hurali) as a viable option for cultivation.

“Due to drought conditions, many farmers who planted sugarcane and banana crops have incurred losses. While the State Government has announced up to Rs. 2,000 per farmer in compensation, it has yet to reach the affected farmers. We anticipate that the compensation will be disbursed promptly once the election Model Code of Conduct is lifted,” stated Basavaraj.

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He also urged the State Government to conduct a joint survey involving both the Agriculture and Horticulture Departments to assess the total extent of the losses and provide adequate compensation to distressed farmers.

With the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasting good rainfall, the farming community eagerly awaits whether the anticipated rains will bring relief or if the period of distress will persist.

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