- Keeping up with the demand for nutri cereals grown in March-June, the government has planned to increase their yield
- The demand for cereals like bajra, maize has shot up during the pandemic
- Agriculture Ministry plans fo increase the area of cultivation of zaid crops from 3.4 million hectares to 5.1 million hectares
TAD NewsDesk, New Delhi: At the National Conference on Agriculture Summer Campaign, the Union agriculture ministry announced its decision to expand the area of cultivation for summer crops for boosting their yield. Locally known as zaid crops, these crops are sown in the months of March-June every year across India. The Ministry of Agriculture plans to increase the area of cultivation of these crops by 50% from 3.4 million hectares in 2020 to 5.1 million hectares in 2021.
“The focus is on increase the output of pulses and oilseeds which require less water and give value addition to food basket,” said a senior agriculture ministry official.
“This provides an additional income window for farmers during the time after Rabi harvest and before Kharif sowing,” the official added.
Although the zaid crops are grown only on 2% of total agriculture land in India, the official noted that “they help in bridging the deficit in pulses and oilseeds production, reducing the dependence on import”.
According to the agriculture ministry data, the water storage in 128 primary reservoirs in the country is 22% more than the 10-year average storage. As the summer crops require canalised water, the water in these reservoirs would ensure their proper irrigation.
“Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are the leading states which grow crops during this period. Planting of summer crops specially pulses, improves the nitrogen content of the soil and prepared the land for Kharif planting,” the official informed.
Moreover, the government has strategically distributed certified seeds, pesticides and fertiliser among farmers of these states as the demand for such crops is high currently.
“Amid Covid-19, the demand for nutri cereals like maize, bajra, jowar and ragi has gone up in global market. Farmers have an export opportunity for these crops which can give them better realisation. We are encouraging farmers to plant more of nitro cereals as they require less water,” the official said.
The Agriculture Ministry has an estimated target of 5 million tonne yield of cereals and oilseeds to keep up with the market demand.
Source – Economic Times