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Is farming going eco-friendly in Mysore?

Shankar Bennur
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Agriculture Department reports drop in use of fertilizer in the past two years

According to the Agriculture Department, 1.35 lakh tonnes of fertilizer was used in Mysore in 2013-14.— Photo: M.A. Sriram
According to the Agriculture Department, 1.35 lakh tonnes of fertilizer was used in Mysore in 2013-14.— Photo: M.A. Sriram

Ahead of a new cropping season in the district, data furnished by the Department of Agriculture here shows decline in the use of fertilizers in the last two years.

According to the department, farmers were expected to use 1.65 lakh tonnes of fertilizers, including non-urea fertilizers and urea, based on the area of cultivation in the previous cropping season. However, only 1.25 lakh tonnes of fertilizers had been used in the last season, it stated.

Cotton, jowar, ragi, pulses, cereals and tobacco were cultivated on rain-fed land, whereas paddy and sugarcane on irrigated land in the district.

“We have observed a drop in fertilizer use. The application of fertilizer has shown declining trends in the last two years. This can be attributed to the rise in fertilizer costs and increase in awareness on organic or natural manure. This is a healthy trend,” said Mahanteshappa, Joint Director of Agriculture, Mysore. Speaking to The Hindu , he said fertilizer use has been on on the decline since 2012-13. In 2011-12, 1.65 lakh tonnes of fertilizers had been used in the district but in successive years its application dropped. In 2012-13, 1.35 lakh tonnes of fertilizers was used on crops and 1.25 lakh tonnes was used in 2013-14 for almost the same area of cultivation.

He said the department has been educating farmers to cut down use of chemical fertilizers, highlighting their harmful impacts. Farmers were told the consequences of the use of harmful chemicals on crops and encouraged to use manure and bio-fertilizers.

‘Savayava Bhagya’, a scheme promoting organic farming, is under way in the district where 100 hectares of land in one village of each hobli is identified for promoting organic farming. Farmers’ groups are formed and educated on producing vermicompost and green manure. “The department gives subsidy under the scheme,” he said.

With the government decontrolling the prices of non-urea fertilizers such as Diammonium Phosphate (DAP), the use of urea, a subsidised fertilizer, is also going up.

The joint director said: “Urea application has not gone up much.We tell farmers not to depend much on urea due to its long-term consequences.”

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