Agri Business

Maharashtra's acreage under foodgrains dip

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 24, 2011


Maharashtra's area under cultivation of foodgrains, cereals and pulses for the year 2010-11 has dropped by about 15 lakh hectares, said the Chief Minister, Mr Prithviraj Chavan, on Monday, at the State-level meet for reviewing the preparation for Kharif season.

Without attributing reasons for the dip in the area, Mr Chavan said other cash crops such as sugarcane, cotton and soyabean has seen good harvest. He also attributed the growth in these crops to good rains, which were about 119 per cent of the normal rainfall.

“For the year 2009-10 Maharashtra has clocked an agriculture growth of 5.5 per cent, which is double of the national average but low when compared with Gujarat. For the last 10 years the neighbouring State has achieved year on year agriculture growth of 11.5 per cent,” Mr Chavan said. Gujarat has managed this growth by successfully implementing a scheme, which gives incentives to the farmers for creating farm ponds in their fields. Their government has managed to create over six lakh farm ponds and with a yearly budget support of Rs 1,000 crore. In Maharashtra for creating new farm ponds, labourers available under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) would be used, he said.

Compensation for spurious seeds

Mr Chavan said that over the years farmers have been cheated due to sale of spurious seeds in the market and suffer heavy financial losses due to such seeds, “Maharashtra Government would be asking the Centre to make changes in the Seed Act, which will ensure that farmers gets some compensation for their crop losses,” he said.

Also speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Ajit Pawar, said that this year due to higher acreage of sugarcane under cultivation and shortage of labourers attributed to NREGA, sugar cane harvesting machines would be required. The government is looking at way in which these machines could be subsidised for the farmers, he said.

Published on May 24, 2011

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