Agriculture Department plans to revitalise it under Bhoochetana Scheme

The Agriculture Department has planned to revitalise paddy cultivation in the district under Bhoochetana Scheme. The department will implement the scheme with the assistance of the Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

Joint director of the department A. Padmaya Naik said the purpose of the scheme was to increase the yield of paddy by 20 per cent on fields where cultivation had been taken up. This was for the first time that paddy had been included under the scheme, which was so far restricted to dry land crops. Apart from supply of micronutrients such as borax, gypsum, and zinc sulphate, the department would be supplying paddy seeds at Rs. 9 a kg, he said.

Mr. Naik said the department had taken samples of soil from across the district and its analysis was done at the Soil Health Centre. Based on this data, the ICRISAT prescribed the amount of nutrients necessary for the land. Accordingly, the department would be supplying the micro nutrients, he said.

Mr. Naik said paddy had been sowed in 5,776 hectares of land in the district. Of this, 3,126 hectares was in Mangalore, followed by 1,270 hectares in Bantwal, 1,250 hectares in Belthangady, 98 hectares in Puttur, and 32 hectares in Sullia.

Mr. Naik said paddy cultivators could take assistance of 12 facilitators appointed under the scheme. Those facilitators, who were also farmers, had been trained for six months at the Krishi Vignan Kendra, he added.

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