Telangana

Ray of hope for soybean farmers

A fresh advisory issued by Centre on Friday has raised hope among soybean farmers who otherwise were depressed by, first, shrinkage in crop area as recommended by State government to access its investment support and, second, germination issues due to adverse weather conditions.

The State government had originally planned soybean cultivation on 4.6 lakh acres but slashed it to three lakh acres due to nationwide seed shortage. Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh which are the major seed growing States experienced heavy rains at the time of harvest, resulting in wet yield.

As it is, soybean seed is highly sensitive and vulnerable to deterioration in germination not only due to environmental issues but even mishandling.

In these circumstance, soybean farmers faced germination problems all over the country in this season. The same was experienced over 2,000 acres in Adilabad, Nizamabad and Nirmal districts.

Hence, the Centre on Friday advised farmers to step up rate of sowing from 30 kgs per acre to 40–45 kgs per acre to recover a germination percentage of 60. Otherwise, the actual germination percentage is 70 with a sowing rate of 30 kgs per acre, said K. Keshavulu, Director, Telangana State Seed and Organic Certification Authority.

The percentage could be tested on trial basis by sowing 100 seed and seeing to it that 60 of them germinated.

In view of shortage of seed in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and subsequent transportation problems due to coronavirus and lockdown, the State government brought down the acreage from 4.6 lakh acres to 3 lakh acres as part of its regulated farming. Incidentally, the seed suppliers in the two States also did not participate in tenders floated by Telangana to meet requirement for 4.6 lakh acres. Therefore, the Telangana State Seed Development Corporation arranged seed for 3 lakh acres and proportionately brought down the cultivable area.

Where the farmers went for inter-cropping, it was suggested that the farmers remove soybean crop that did not germinate and replace it with red gram or cotton because all three crops were almost of same duration and fetched similar returns.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 10:05:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/ray-of-hope-for-soybean-farmers/article31878614.ece

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