BHUBANESWAR, 26 September:
Rain-fed Sundergarh district has set a target to reduce paddy cultivation in upland areas to 17,000 hectares (ha) over the next two years and replace it with more resilient crops such as pulses and oilseeds. At 1.63 lakh hectares, the upland area of Sundergarh constitutes about 52 per cent of the district’s total cultivable land of 3.09 lakh hectares, of which 76,000 hectares are used for water intensive paddy cultivation during the Kharif season. Presently the total paddy area is 2.04 lakh hectares. Chief District Agriculture Officer (CDAO) Birendra Behera said that the traditional practice of cultivation of paddy on the upper lands is proving to be risky as the monsoon is often disturbed. Both the central and state governments insist on shifting non-paddy crops to higher land.
The district aims to reduce the area under paddy cultivation on high land by 17,000 hectares in two years. Farmers will be encouraged to grow pulses and oilseeds in 17,000 hectares as these crops are more resilient and able to survive on soil moisture. CDAO further informed that in the current Kharif season pulses including tur, bidi and moong have been grown in more than 31,944 hectares. Similarly, oilseeds including sesame, sesame and groundnut have been cultivated in 11,688 hectares. In most of the blocks, the climatic and soil conditions are ideal for pulses and oilseeds. Most of the area has red and laterite soils with high acidic condition only in Bonai and Hemgir blocks and hence, there is no scope for expansion of oilseeds and pulses.
The average production of pulses in Sundergarh is about 6.2 quintals per hectare and oilseeds like sesame, sesame and mustard get an average of seven quintals per hectare. The average production of groundnut is about 15 quintals. The average yield of pulses and oilseeds except groundnut in Sundergarh is below the national and state average. But it can easily go up with intensive cultivation. Even with the low yield, farmers are not disappointed as the cost of cultivation of these crops is low,” Behera said. The team completed its two-day visit of Subdega, Balishankar, Kutra and Kuanramunda blocks to monitor and evaluate the implementation of central assistance on carrying out demonstration programs for paddy, moong, beeri, tur and groundnut cultivation over 1,584 hectares. visited.
Sundergarh aims to replace paddy with resilient crops in highlands
Story first published: Monday, September 26, 2022, 21:42 [IST]