Agri Business

Rabi sowing hinges on Maharastra government’s help, say farmers

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on November 17, 2020

File Photo   -  THE HINDU

They say that unseasonal rains in September and October have paralysed operations

About 18 per cent of rabi coverage has been achieved in Maharashtra out of the proposed 51.20 lakh hectares even as the Agriculture Department expects acreage to increase to 60 lha due to good rainfall.

Rabi sowing has been done on 9.22 lakh hectare so far..

Rabi season commences in October and during the recent meeting convened to review the preparedness of the season, the government had estimated an increase in rabi sowing.

Also read: Rabi sowing crosses 100 lakh ha

Awaiting assistance

However, farmer leaders say that unseasonal rains in September and October have paralysed farmers. The State government has announced compensation for crop loss but the majority of the farmers still await the assistance.

The State has average 141.98 l ha kharif crop (except sugarcane) of which 144.99 lakh hectare was under sowing. According to Kishor Tiwari, head of the Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission, the government task force for farmers, over 50 lakh hectare of kharif crop was damaged due to unseasonal rains putting farmers under pressure.

Anil Ghanwat, President of Shetkari Sanghatana said that farmers are finding it difficult to buy seeds and fertilisers for rabi season as they have suffered heavy losses due to unseasonal rains. During the rabi season, crops including jowar, wheat, maize, onions, oil seeds and vegetables are grown.

Rain damage

Bharat Dighole, President, Maharashtra State Onion Growers' Association said that farmers banking on a bumper kharif crop faced a major setback with massive rains damaging crop. He added that Covid-19 pandemic lockdown has disrupted the rural economy and farmers are under distress.

However according to State Agriculture Minister Dada Bhuse the government is all set to help farmers for successful rabi season. Bhuse said that the government has made provision of 9.25 lakh quintal seeds, enough to match demand. He said that during last rabi season farmers had used 27.69 lakh tonnes fertiliser while this year 34.60 lakh tonnes would be required.

Published on November 17, 2020

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