The first-ever full-fledged crop of ‘ABV04’ variety of pearl millet grown during the kharif season by a farmer duo at Pathacheruvu village in Anantapur district is ready for harvest and they expect a decent income with minimal investment.
The ABV04 - Anantapur Bajra Variety 04, a variety developed by Acharya N.G. Ranga University-run Agriculture Research Station at Rekulakunta, was released nationally in 2019 and this was the first kharif season in which a farmer attempted this variety of millets due to lack of sufficient water in the area. The Research Station scientists Sahadev Reddy and R. Narasimha, who made a field visit on Wednesday, expressed joy at the success of the crop in 12 acres.
Sammathi Lakshminarayana and Govindappa, who jointly own 12 acres, could not sow groundnut as it required high investment and sufficient water sources were not there except for depending on rains. On advice from the coordinators of A.F. Ecology Centre, Anantapur, they sowed 1 kg of seed per acre at a cost of ₹450 per two acres and did not spray any medicines or apply fertilizers. The total expenditure including their own family labour in looking after the three-month crop during the COVID pandemic was ₹25,000 and going by the current price in the market, they expect to get ₹2,000 per quintal.
A rough estimate is that they would get 12 quintals of pearl millet per acre and the income is likely to be around ₹2.88 lakh and deducting all expenses they are likely to save at least ₹2 lakh. The same farmer brothers, who have another seven acres land that has irrigation facility, went for groundnut crop in that and invested close to ₹1.1 lakh and are not sure whether they can recoup their input cost. “The agriculture officials had come last week and after inspecting the fields, declared that the groundnut crop had failed,” said Govindappa.