Adilabad ryots should be weaned away from cotton: scientists

A farmer ploughing his land towards preparation for rainy season cultivation in Adilabad district.

A farmer ploughing his land towards preparation for rainy season cultivation in Adilabad district.  

‘Promote indigenous varieties for cultivating nutritious and healthy food crops’

The COVID-19 situation did not really affect farmers in terms of loss of incomes in former composite Adilabad district as the government extended its protection by way of procuring all crops as minimum support price towards the end of yasangi or rabi season.

They are, therefore, making preparations to sow only popular crops like cotton in the ensuing vanakalam or kharif season which, according to agriculture scientists, is not advisable under the situation.

Though the government has announced that its support system, including Rythu Bandhu, will be available to only those farmers who go in for recommended crops this season, there is no indication that farmers in Adilabad will be weaned away from cotton, which is known to create distress among farmers.

Well-known agriculture scientist G.V. Ramanjaneyulu wants the government to make crop plan based on locally suitable varieties where the risk of failure is highly reduced and farmers can add their own knowledge to it.

Cotton, sown in about 3.5 lakh hectare, occupies over 50% of all the cultivable area in old united Adilabad. The distress it generated over the years within the farming community had even prompted Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao to ask farmers to stay away from cotton in April 2016.

Mr. Ramanjaneyulu, executive director of Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, who also wants the government to come out of the paddy centric cultivation plan, says Adilabad has a number of crops including oil seed, pulses and millets, which can be promoted.

“Cotton farmers will shift to crops for which the government builds confidence among farmers,” he opined.

“The government should come up with district-level models of cultivation which will include strengthening local markets. If planning is made at their level, farmers can decide the kind of crops that need to be sown and can infuse their knowledge which drastically reduces the risk factor,” the scientist explained.

“The government should take advantage of the COVID-19 situation and promote indigenous varieties for cultivating nutritious and healthy food crops by extending all its support to farmers. Such an effort will also revive the health of the soil in these parts,” suggested an agriculture scientist in Adilabad, not wanting his name to be revealed.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 5:05:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/adilabad-ryots-should-be-weaned-away-from-cotton-scientists/article31595622.ece

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