MANGALORE: Sowing has been completed in 27,000 hectares out of 35,000 hectares of land for kharif cultivation in Dakshina Kannada, and farmers are ready to apply fertilizers, compost or manure to the crops.
Fertilizers, compost or manure for crops in 4,000 hectares of land will be applied only in August as it is in upland.
Though the district needs nearly 2,000 tonnes of fertilizers for application in the first phase, farmers choose manure for the second application. With only 10 days to go for the second application, farmers are busy putting together their stocks of manure or compost produced in May and June.
Sources in the Raitha Samparka Sangha of Mangalore taluk said that the district could produce 3,500 tonnes of manure or compost for kharif season. But the present production was nowhere near it. Mangalore taluk, which had 18,000 hectares of land under kharif cultivation, could produce 1,200 tonnes of manure. Taluks such as Buntwal, Belthangady, Puttur and Sullia together could produce 1,000 tonnes.
President of the Mangalore taluk unit of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha Sunny D’Souza of Moodbidri told The Hindu that the district had adequate material that could be used to make compost. What farmers had to do was to gather and store them in even quantity in their fields and allow them to petrify in the rain. Leaves, vines, creepers and plant clippings could be stored in the fields, Mr. D’ Souza said.
Experts in the Agriculture Department said that compost was best suited for paddy cultivation in rain-intensive areas such as Dakshina Kannada. Excess water in the fields during heavy rain would overflow and take away with it the essence of fertilizers as they dissolved fast. But compost or manure would remain in the field and merge with the soil.
The Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat has adopted a Japanese-model compost pit which has been use in interior parts of Mangalore taluk since 1997. But the model is not popular because the pits can yield small quantity of compost or manure.