Friday, June 17, 2016

State agriculture department turns focus on production of pulses

Ranchi: Pulses enhance soil fertility, require less water and have a huge potential in the Indian market because of its low production. But it is yet to be popular in Jharkhand.

This is because the state farmers are apprehensive about cultivating pulse in place of the traditional paddy.

To clear this bottleneck, the department of agriculture and experts are jointly focusing on improving the production of pulses ahead of the kharif season this year.

Director of state agriculture department Jata Shankar Choudhary said that there has been a marked improvement in pulse production since the launch of National Food Security Mission (NFSM) in which pulse is a major component. "As against three lakh hectare land under pulse cultivation in state, the area has doubled to six lakh hectare in the last two years," he said.

He added that this qualified the state for winning the Krishi Karman award twice. Choudhary said that it was because of the farmers' reluctance to opt for any new crop, that the department and agriculture extension centres are still trying hard to popularize pulse cultivation.

About 77% area of pulses in Jharkhand is available in 15 districts namely Gumla, Palamu, Simdega, Garhwa, Latehar, Ranchi, West Singhbhum, Seraikela, Dumka, Giridih, Lohardaga, Hazribagh, Pakur, Chatra and Sahebganj. All these 15 districts of Jharkhand have been included under NFSM-Pulses in which special support including subsidy on high yielding varieties of seeds are given to the farmers.

Agriculture secretary, Nitin Madan Kulkarni said that in the 1st phase of NFSM, the government thrust on pulses has been in Palamu, Garhwa, Chatra, Simdega and Lohardaga districts.

He has asked district development managers (DDMs) of National Agriculture Bank for Rural Development and State Agriculture Management and Extension Training Institute (SAMETI) to organize town hall meetings in all the districts.

In this meetings, progressive farmers will be invited to indicate the quantity of pulse seeds (and arhar seeds in particular) available withthem for distribution during the ensuing season. "The government will provide details of government schemes and support to the farmer club members," he said.

Source : TOI

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