Lack of moisture hits gram crop

ontinuous rain before sowing seeds of green and black gram for rabi season had raised expectations of a good yield this year. However, farmers are worried that lack of moisture after

Published: 17th March 2018 01:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th March 2018 02:20 AM   |  A+A-

A farmer winnowing black gram after harvest near Gengutia village in Dhenkanal | BIRANCHI SETH

By Express News Service

JAGATSINGHPUR: Continuous rain before sowing seeds of green and black gram for rabi season had raised expectations of a good yield this year. However, farmers are worried that lack of moisture after sowing of these crops may damage their crops . Lack of awareness among the farmers to take alternative steps for cultivating green gram has worsened the situation. Unseasonal rains in November and December last year had not only destroyed paddy crops and vegetables in different areas of Jagatsinghpur district but also delayed the harvesting of paddy crop. Meanwhile, residual moisture, which is required for sowing of green gram, was affected due to climate change.

Though the soil lacked residual moisture, farmers sowed seeds of green and black grams at different areas of the district. Lack of moisture led to improper germination of the seeds, affecting their growth. “Agriculture department should encourage the farmers to cultivate short green gram crops, immediately after harvesting the paddy crop using the residual moisture in the soil and atmosphere. Green grams can be harvested in 75 days. Neither administration nor the department has yet taken any alterative steps for growing these crops.

This has left the farmers unhappy,” a retired agriculture officer said. According to sources, green gram was sown over about 42,116 hectares and the Agriculture department had targeted to procure about `2.50 lakh quintal ‘moong’ from this district. “Due to non-supply of seeds at subsidised rate, farmers have purchased seeds from local markets at higher rates. The green gram plants have not grown into plants due to lack of residual moisture,” sources added.

The gram crops were infested with pests in Balikuda, Naugaon and other blocks. Secretary, Live and Let Live (LALL), a private research unit, Kshetramohan Behera claimed that about 90 per cent of the crop had not been grown and the rest got withered due to scarcity of water. “Farmers should spray water with Nagrajun Sikhar NPK 19-19-19 and Aspa - 80 for ensuring proper growth of gram plants,” he added. Contacted, District Agriculture Officer Suvendu Kumar Mohanty said lack of moisture in the soil had affected gram cultivation. “So, we have advised the farmers to grow short duration green gram,” he added.

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