Special Correspondent

Officials seek 4,000 quintals of green gram seeds

Demand for seeds goes up with the increase in subsidy 245 quintals of black gram and 650 quintals of green gram seeds supplied to farmers Sowing in full swing in most villages of Gulbarga district

GULBARGA: The early onset of the monsoon and the increase in subsidy on seeds supplied to farmers have resulted in a shortage of green gram and black gram seeds in Gulbarga district.

Usually, the district receives the first monsoon showers in the second or third week of June, which enable farmers to till land for sowing. It receives the second spell of rain in July when sowing is taken up. However, the district experienced good rain in the third week of May this year, forcing farmers to reschedule kharif sowing.

Surprise

The Agriculture Department here appears to have been taken by surprise by the early monsoon. The department is finding it difficult to deal with the sudden rush for seeds, particularly green gram and black gram. The decision of the Government to relax the norms for supply of seeds to small and marginal farmers led to the shortage of seeds.

Official sources told The Hindu on Friday that the Government had favoured registration by small and marginal farmers for availing themselves of the 75 per cent subsidy. However, the Government was forced to relax the norms when a large number of farmers failed to register their names with the department for subsidised seeds.

Agricultural Marketing Minister Sharanabasappa Darshanapur, who held an emergency review meeting to take stock of the situation in the district on Thursday, admitted that there was shortage of seeds, particularly green gram and black gram, and said efforts were on to overcome it.

He said 245 quintals of black gram and 650 quintals of green gram seeds had been supplied to farmers on subsidised rates and another 300 quintals of green gram and 200 quintals of black gram seeds were expected to reach Gulbarga on Saturday.

The district may need another 1,000 quintals of black gram and an equal quantity of green gram seeds. The department has sent a requisition to the Government for 4,000 quintals of green gram and 2,000 quintals of black gram seeds to meet the demand.

Mr. Darshanapur said that there was no shortage of other seeds such as red gram, hybrid jowar and sunflower.

Demand

Based on the increasing demand for seeds, the officials said that there would be a marked increase in the area under kharif crops, particularly green gram and black gram.

The farmers are keen on green gram and black gram cultivation as they would be ready for harvest in 70 days. They are considered a buffer cash crop for taking up bi-seasonal red gram cultivation for which farmers have to make a considerable investment.

According to reports received here, sowing of green gram and black gram seeds is in full swing in almost of the villages in the district, except in the irrigated belt.

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