Sowing yet to gain traction in south interior Karnataka

The pre-monsoon showers in south interior Karnataka region are below normal and patchy which has affected sowing activity.

As a result sowing is much below the stipulated target and the authorities hope rains in the days ahead will help give a thrust to agricultural activities.

In Mysuru, there were intermittent rains during April but they were neither uniform nor widespread and did not cover a large swathe of the rural hinterland. As a result, the farmers are also going slow in preparing the land for sowing.

In Mandya district the sowing has not even covered 1,000 hectares out of the target of 38,000 hectares during the pre-monsoon period. “We have covered around 2 per cent of the target area for sowing so far this year as against almost 15 to 20 per cent that was brought under sowing by this time last year’’, said Chandrashekar, Joint Director of Agriculture, Mandya.

Bulk of the sowing during pre-monsoon season is oil seed and pulses while paddy cultivation under rain-fed condition is taken up once the monsoon attains vigour sometime in July-August.

In Mysuru the scenario is no different and the pre-monsoon rains have at best been sporadic and patchy. Black gram, green gram, tobacco and hybrid cotton are taken up for sowing during this season but the area under sowing has been hit due to poor pre-monsoon showers, said Mahanteshappa, Joint Director of Agriculture, Mysuru district. As a result some of the farmers who were traditionally cultivating cotton, are likely to shift to maize, he added.

The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) report states that the rainfall in south interior Karnataka from May 1 to May 8 was 39 per cent below normal and was only 12 mm against a normal of 19 mm for the period.

The cumulative pre-monsoon rainfall between March 1 and May 8 is 2 per cent below normal. Though the region received 68 mm of rains against a normal of 70 mm, it was not widespread and uniform, according to the authorities and hence bulk of the agricultural tract was yet to be brought under sowing.

The authorities, however, clarified that the surge in COVID-19 cases had not affected sowing activities as the labour requirement for sowing and preparing the land was less. There was a gradual shift to mechanisation as a result of which dependency on workers was also steadily shrinking.

In terms of availability of fertilizers and seeds, the authorities say they are well stocked and there was no scarcity of the inputs required for agriculture.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 6:48:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/sowing-yet-to-gain-traction-in-south-interior-karnataka/article34515251.ece

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