Updated: April 16, 2021 8:14:31 pm
Despite the second wave of Covid-19 outbreak, farmers in Gujarat have sown over 10.61 lakh hectares of summer crop this year, which is a 127 per cent increase compared to last year. The availability of water for irrigation, especially from the Narmada river, has contributed to the increased sowing.
Though one third (3.27 lakh hectares) of the sown area consists of fodder, farmers in Gujarat have also sown Bajra (2.63 lakh hectares), Sesamum (97,600 hectares), Vegetables (93,300 hectares), Paddy (71,700 hectares) Groundnut (58,600 hectares) and Mung or green bean (57,900 hectare), as on April 12, 2021, states data from Gujarat’s agriculture department.
There has been 314 per cent and 202 per cent rise in the area sown with Sesamum and Urad, respectively, compared to the corresponding summer of 2020.
While almost all the Sesamum, Urad or black lentils and Mung has been sown in Saurashtra region. Surendranagar (32,300 hectares) and Junagadh (23,500 hectares) districts having the lion’s share of the Sesamum sowing, while Junagadh (9,200 hectares) and Gir Somnath (5,900 hectares) have highest acerage for Urad. For Mung too Junagadh (13,400 hectares) and Gir Somnath districts (7,300 hectares) have the maximum sowing area.
For Bajra, Banaskantha (1.66 lakh hectares) accounts for more than half of the total sowing of the crop, while maximum paddy has been sown in Ahmedabad (31,300 hectares) and Kheda (14,300 hectares). Banaskantha also accounted for the maximum groundnut sowing (22,300 hectares) during summer season.
“There is plenty of water in the dams due to a good monsoon last year. Due to good availability of water, the government continued to provide Narmada water for the summer crop. This has boosted sowing this year,” said Sagar Rabari, head of Khedut Ekta Manch.
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel had in March 2021 announced that the government will be providing Narmada waters for the summer crop as there was sufficient water in the Sardar Sarovar dam. “Apart from the waters of Narmada, the government also repaired the canal network that falls in the Shetrunji command area and so a number of talukas in Bhavnagar district in Saurashtra has also been getting irrigation water,” Rabari added.
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