GULBARGA: Production of pulses, except red gram, is expected to plunge in the district because of poor rains.
Gulbarga is one of the largest suppliers of red gram and other pulses to the state. While farmers in the district fear loss of income, consumers will be hit by the rise in prices of these essential pulses.
Red gram, green gram and black gram are major pulses grown in the district besides Bengal gram, horse gram, black-eyed pea and hyacinth.
The monsoon crop growing area in the district is 5.70 lakh hectares. It was planned to grow pulses in 4.23 lakh hectares, but so far, only 6 per cent of this has been sown.
Had sowing started at the right time this year, the district would have produced 4.03 lakh metric tonnes of pulses.
“The time for sowing of all pulses, except red gram, which is a major crop of the district, has expired,” Joint Director of Agriculture Jilani Mokashi told Express.
If there had been sufficient rainfall this season, farmers would have sown other pulses, except red gram, by June 15.
But now they are planning to grow only red gram, which they can grow if it rains before the end of this month. If the rains fail by then, it may impact the production of red gram as well.
When asked about the options before farmers, he said they can shift to sunflower in August.
“The district should have received 113 mm rain in June, but a few places received only 47 mm. There may be 60 per cent shortage of rain this month too,” he said quoting a report of the Meteorological Department.
“Black gram and green gram were sown in 13,000 hectares in Chincholi taluk as it received some rain in the beginning. However, the seeds have not sprouted well due to lack of rain and humidity in soil. Forget about production, farmers have suffered loss of money invested in seeds as well,” said Mallikarjun Bhushetty, president of the Chincholi taluk unit of Krushika Samaj.
“Arrival of pulses to the market will be affected if scarcity of rains continues. While green gram is sold at Rs 4,825 to Rs 6,505 per quintal, black gram is procured at Rs 4,528 to Rs 6,251 per quintal. There is no arrival of pulses, except red gram and Bengal gram, in the market,” said APMC secretary Shivashankar.
Last year, 27.06 lakh quintals of pulses arrived in the Gulbarga APMC and recorded a Rs 1,102-crore turnover. The turnover of red gram was Rs 831 crore for 19.80 lakh quintals, he further added.