BHUBANESWAR: At a time when agriculture scientists are emphasising on use of green manure over chemical fertilisers and farmers are showing great deal of interest in bio-fertilisers, the State Government is yet to decide on supply of dhaincha and sunn hemp seeds to farmers.
With the kharif season approaching fast, the State Government has no plan to supply dhaincha (Sesbania Aculeata) and sunn hemp (Crotalaria Juncea) seeds to farmers.
Dhaincha and sunn hemp are mainly used for green manuring across the State. The crop is sown in the first fortnight of June by availing the pre-monsoon rains. About 30 kg of seed is required for one hectare of land. The entire quantity of phosphatic fertiliser of the succeeding rice crop is applied to the green manure crop.
“Green manuring puts up a good growth of crops and during their decomposition, nitrogen and phosphorus are available to the rice crop and phosphate application is not needed,” said an agriculturist of Agriculture Department.
Green manure is less expensive than animal manure and also helps create vital soil in areas with little or no top soil due to water run-off or construction that often tears away vast tracts of land without considering the long term effects. Besides, it deters weeds even without the use of harmful herbicides, sources said.
Sunn hemp is suitable for well-drained soil condition whereas dhaincha is adaptable to medium and low land situations. The crop grows with the pre-monsoon rains.
When the crop is 6-7 weeks old and just begins to flower, it is buried in the soil with the help of plough and water is impounded for 2-3 days. Thereafter, final puddling is done and paddy is transplanted.
The State Government had supplied 3500 quintals of dhaincha and sunn hemp seeds to farmers last year. The Odisha State Seeds Corporation (OSSC) is reported to have sought approval of the Agriculture Department for procurement of 5300 quintals of seeds for coming kharif.
Sources in the Department said the Government has not taken any decision about supply of these subsidised seeds for green manuring. The seeds are procured from States like Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
Last year, the State Government had procured dhaincha seeds at `50 per kg and supplied it to farmers at `10 a kg, the sources added.