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Updated: July 7, 2014 00:38 IST

Monsoon delay may spur fodder cultivation

G. V. R. Subba Rao
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With delay in monsoon, farmers are likely to go for cultivation of fodder this year.

The Animal Husbandry department is planning to supply about 75 metric tonnes of fodder seed to farmers, even while the farmers’ lobbies are demanding that the State government make fodder cultivation mandatory. The department estimated that the fodder is likely to be cultivated in 1,800 acres, and has made arrangements accordingly.

Farmers could opt for green fodder cultivation over the next few months with little water resources available for them. They can earn some money from the effort. “We are there to provide them with best quality seed,” said Animal Husbandry department Joint Director Damodara Naidu.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Naidu said about 30 metric tonnes of fodder seed would be distributed in the district every year and proposals were sent for another 40 more metric tonnes in view of delayed monsoon this year. The government decided to supply 5 metric tonnes of hybrid variety of fodder seed in the coming days taking the total to 75 metric tonnes, he said.

The green cut fodder would yield 10 to 12 metric tonnes of fodder an acre, while multi cut variety would yield 80 metric tonne to 100 metric tonnes. The hybrid seed was being supplied with 75 per cent subsidy, and farmer should pay Rs. 73.30 a kg. The ordinary variety mini kit of five kg would cost Rs. 23, he said.

Kisan Services Association district general secretary P.S.R. Das said that farmers, usually, cultivated paddy in as much as six lakh acres in the district. As there were no rains till date, and if the situation did not improve in a fortnight, they would be forced to opt for less water intensive crops such as pulses, he said, adding farmers were likely to cultivate fodder in 50,000 acres in the district.

The department was supplying fodder seed. But, there was not much awareness among farming community. Only a few enthusiastic farmers cultivate fodder to meet their livestock requirements. The government should make it mandatory to cultivate green fodder, he said.

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