Kharif season sowing begins with a bang

High expectations:A farmer ploughing his field in preparation for sowing kharif crops.   | Photo Credit: — File Photo

Nagesh Prabhu

Pre-monsoon showers have been a great help to farmers

By May 10, sowing was completed in 1.66 lakh hectares

Fairly widespread rain in several districts helped farmers begin land preparation and sowing

Bangalore: Sowing began on a positive note this kharif season in the State on account of pre-monsoon showers. As of May 10, sowing was completed in 1.66 lakh hectares as against the normal coverage of 80,000 hectares.

A total area of 72.5 lakh hectares is being targeted for coverage this season as against 70.41 lakh hectares in the last kharif season. The State has set an ambitious target of producing 123.7 lakh tonnes of foodgrains during the kharif, rabi and summer crop seasons of 2010-11 in the wake of indications of a good monsoon.

In 2009-10, the State produced 106 lakh tonnes against the target of 118.35 lakh tonnes owing to drought and floods that devastated crops in several districts. Kharif accounted for over 70 per cent of the annual foodgrains production in the State.

Fairly widespread rains in several districts helped farmers commence land preparation and sowing. Farmers have sown tobacco, cotton, jowar and pulses in Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Mandya, Chikmagalur and Chitradurga districts.

Coverage of various crops was 1,08,000 hectares in Mysore, 42,000 hectares in Chamarajangar, 12,000 hectares in Mandya and 4,000 hectares in Chikmagalur and a few hectares in Chitradurga, Kodagu, Hassan, Shimoga and other districts. Sowing has not commenced in north Karnataka districts. Generally, sowing in that region commences only after the arrival of monsoon, according to officials in the Department of Agriculture.

Following pre-monsoon showers from March 29 this year in several districts of the State, officials are hoping for a better crop this kharif season. Last year the State received pre-monsoon showers from April 20.

Supply of fertilizers

The department has made arrangements to supply fertilizers to farmers. The Union Ministry for Chemicals and Fertilizers supplied 3,66,250 tonnes of different types of fertilizers against the requirement of 3,26,700 tonnes in May.

The State had received 84,960 tonnes of urea, 1,33,290 tonnes of complex, 1,13,000 tonnes of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), and 35,000 tonnes of muriate of potash (MoP).

The officials said the Karnataka State Cooperative Marketing Federation and the district administration have been instructed to take steps to ensure smooth supply of nutrients to farmers.

To avoid crisis in the supply of fertilizers, the State has asked the Centre to ensure supply of 22.6 lakh tonnes of nutrients to the State during the kharif season.

Allotment sought

The State has sought allotment of eight lakh tonnes of urea, six lakh tonnes of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), 2.9 lakh tonnes of muriate of potash and 5.7 lakh tonnes of complex fertilisers during the kharif season

There are about 78 lakh farmers in the State and about 7.64 lakh tonnes of seeds of different crops would be required during the kharif season.

Seed subsidy would be extended to all those crops that are promoted under the centrally sponsored schemes, officials said.