Adilabad farmers drop jowar cultivation for other crops

Tribal farmers burning stubble to prepare land for jowar cultivation in Adilabad district.

Tribal farmers burning stubble to prepare land for jowar cultivation in Adilabad district.   | Photo Credit: S_HARPALSINGH

Acreage falls due to decreasing farm animals, rise in mechanisation and non-remunerative prices

Even as the government is making efforts to bring back millets into the stream of food grain cultivation, the most important one, jowar, seems to have made a quiet exit from the non-tribal areas of old united Adilabad district. Once the locals’ staple diet, this rabi jowar has been cultivated in only 2,000 hectares, almost all of it in the Agency areas where tribal farmers are continuing with it.

Lesser area

In kharif too, it was sown only in 3,000 hectares while the normal area used to be about 8,000 hectares in Adilabad district alone. In erstwhile Adilabad, the area under jowar in rabi has gone down from nearly 14,000 to 7,000 hectares, the share of Adilabad and Kumram Bheem Asifabad area being 2,000 and 5,000 hectares of the agency tracts respectively.

One of the major factors affecting jowar cultivation or other millets is the sharp decrease in number of farm animals and equally sudden increase in mechanisation, besides the non-remunerative price, according to experts. Any initiative to increase cultivation of millets should ensure that farmers be given bullocks and other facilities to aid cultivation of food crops through agencies like the Integrated Tribal Development Agency, Utnoor, in case of tribals.

Losing lucre

“In rabi, jowar used to be a major crop in these parts,” recalled Adilabad Agriculture Officer (Technical) Shiva Kumar. Bengal gram has replaced it in a big way this season as it occupies 32,000 hectares of the total 36,000 hectares cultivated in Adilabad district alone,” he revealed.

“Farmers are not realising more than a maximum of ₹ 2,500 per quintal for jowar, while cotton gives them much more in kharif. In rabi, the weather conditions favour bengal gram and it fetches a minimum support price of ₹ 4,400 per quintal, while the yield can be a handsome 10 quintals per acre,” the Agriculture Department official pointed out the reasons for farmers moving away from jowar to other crops.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2020 1:29:33 AM |

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