The State government has fixed the foodgrain production target for 2014-15 at 135 lakh tonnes covering a total area of 82.03 lakh hectares in all the three agriculture seasons — kharif, rabi and summer.
The area under foodgrain production has been downsized this year. During 2013-14, the target fixed was 130 lakh tonnes covering an area of 82.6 lakh hectares.
Sources in the Agriculture Department told The Hindu that mixed signals on the monsoon this year was the main reason for not fixing an ambitious target.
Sources said just like in the previous years, the major portion of the foodgrain target would be met by cereals and the target fixed for the present year is 119.2 lakh tonnes covering 54.11 lakh hectares. This is in comparison to 115 lakh tonnes fixed in the previous year covering 54.16 lakh hectares. The anticipated production of pulses this year is 15.8 lakh tonnes covering 27.92 lakh hectares. Last year, the government had fixed a target of 15.5 lakh tonnes over an area of 27.5 lakh hectares.
Under cereals, maize continues to rule the roost in the production target, pipping paddy. The government has fixed a production target of 43.26 lakh tonnes for maize covering 13.67 lakh hectares and the production target for paddy has been fixed at 41.73 lakh tonnes covering 14.19 lakh hectares. Maize continues to be one of the popular crops among farmers, particularly in the irrigation belt.
Ragi occupies the third place in the production target, with an anticipated production of 14.72 lakh tonnes covering 7.94 lakh hectares, followed by jowar with a production target of 14.27 lakh tonnes in 14.27 lakh hectares.
Among pulses, red gram and Bengal gram continue to dominate, both in the area of coverage and production. While red gram is projected to be sown in 8.34 lakh hectares with a production target of 5.17 lakh tonnes, Bengal gram is expected to be cultivated on 10.6 lakh hectares with a production target of 6.58 lakh tonnes.
The government has fixed oilseed production target at 14.9 lakh tonnes in an area of 19.66 lakh hectares.
The area proposed to be covered under commercial crops in the State this year is 13 lakh hectares. Although the area under cotton has been fixed at 5.98 lakh hectares, it is likely to increase owing to the growing interest among farmers to take up its cultivation.
The area under sugarcane has been fixed at 5.9 lakh hectares with a production target of 400 lakh tonnes. The area under tobacco cultivation has been fixed at 1.12 lakh hectares with a production target of 1.15 lakh tonnes.