BENGALURU: The Covid-induced lockdown, which saw reverse migration to the hinterland, coupled with good monsoon rains, has had a positive effect which is showing on the fields. There has been an increase in sowing activity across the state in the prevailing kharif season.
As per the data from the State Agriculture Department, cultivable land in the state is 73 lakh hectares of which close to 50 lakh hectares has already been covered under sowing, meeting 68 per cent of the target.
The state is in the second month of the monsoon season and the officials are confident that in the next couple of weeks, they will exceed the targeted sowing area. Last year, up to July end, sowing was completed in 44.99 lakh hectares whereas five lakh more hectares have been covered this year.
Reverse migration to rural areas this year helping farm sector, say officials
A senior official told The New Indian Express that this year, due to reverse migration to rural areas, the migrant workers are now working as farm labourers in villages where sowing has also been taken up in land that had been left uncultivated for many years. Going by this trend, there could be an increase in sowing area and the state may surpass the 73 lakh hectares target. “We have to wait and watch,’’ the official added.
Agriculture Minister B C Patil said good showers and availability of labourers in the fields has resulted in good sowing. “It is good news for farmers and we are hoping for better yield,’’ he added. According to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Management Centre (KSNDMC), 471 mm rain is normally expected in the period from June 1 to July 31. This year, 445 mm rain was recorded, a deficit of 5 per cent. According to KSNDMC officials, deficit of up to 19 per cent is normal in meteorology terms. Last year, the state had witnessed deficit rainfall till July end.
Prof Rajegowda, former registrar, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru, said, “Since the 90s, the state never seen sowing in 73 lakh hectares. During some years, it was only between 30 lakh hectares and 50 lakh hectares. Every year, there would be delay in the onset of monsoon or less rains, which resulted in lesser area under sowing. This year, there has been good showers due to which workers could take up sowing.’’ The state likely to touch the target of 73 lakh hectares by the second week of August. This also means, farmers can go in for long-duration crops. With good rains and early sowing, good yield can be expected, he added.