Udupi, June 23, 2018: Sowing activities have started gathering momentum in Udupi district after the onset of monsoon. Paddy is the chief kharif crop in the district. The district has received more than normal rainfall so far, this year.
The normal rainfall from January 1 to June 21 in the district is 911.7 m.m. But this year, the rainfall received till June 21 is 1,253.37 m.m. Last year, the rainfall received till June 21 was 833 mm.
The Department of Agriculture has set a target of 44,000 hectares (ha) for sowing paddy this year. After the onset of monsoon, paddy has been taken up in 1,340 ha of land in the district. “Sowing activities will increase with every passing day,” Satish, Technical Officer in the Department of Agriculture said.
Of the 1,242.5 quintals of different types of seeds with the department, including MO 4, MO 16, MTU 1001, Jyoti and Jaya, nearly 1,024 quintals have been distributed to the farmers at a subsidised rate. The subsidy per kg of seeds for general farmers is Rs. 8, while it is Rs. 12 for farmers belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Nearly, 1,311 tonnes of fertilizers have been distributed to farmers, while 831 tonnes were available. Agricultural lime and Zinc Sulfate too were available at subsidised rate for farmers at farmer outlets, including cooperative societies.
There were seven farmers custom hire service centres (Krishi Yantradhare) in seven hoblis out of the nine in the district — Byndoor, Kundapur, Karkala, Ajekar, Kaup, Brahmavar and Kota.
Farmers could hire various agricultural equipment, including paddy transplanters and power tillers at cheaper rates. Five of these centres are run by non-governmental organisations, while two are run by private agencies.
At these centres, farmers could hire equipment for sowing, ploughing and other farm operations at cheaper costs. Operators from these outlets would come with equipment and use them in the fields.
For instance, a transplanter is available at Rs. 700 per hour, while a power tiller is available for Rs. 350 per hour. “This helps reduce the dependence of farmers on labour, which is scarce and costly in the district,” said Satish. Last year, the target for sowing paddy was also 44,000 ha, and the achievement was 42,824.