In the ensuing Rabi season, crops will be sown on 60 lakh hectares of land, up from the current 52 lakh hectares, due to good monsoon, Agriculture Minister Dadasaheb Bhuse said on Sunday.
At a meeting convened to review the preparedness for the Rabi season, which will commence in October, the minister said: “Monsoon this year has been very satisfactory. We estimate an increase in sowing of Rabi crops from 52 lakh hectares to 60 lakh hectares.”
While 9.14 lakh quintal seeds are required for Rabi crops, the state government has made provision for 9.25 lakh quintal of seeds, he added.
During the Rabi season, crops like jowar, wheat, maize, onions and a variety of vegetables are grown.
“In the last Rabi season, 27.69 lakh metric tonnes of fertilisers were used. With the increased area under cultivation, the figure will now go up to 34.6 lakh metric tonnes,” said Bhuse.
While acknowledging that the bigger challenge is to ensure quality seeds to farmers, the minister warned Maharashtra State Seeds Corporation Limited to ensure no fake seeds are sold in the market. During the Kharif season (June to August), more than 50,000 farmers had registered formal complaints with district agriculture centres about being provided substandard seeds.
“Also initiate measures to ensure that farmers are not driven to a second sowing, which doubles their input expenditure and makes them financially vulnerable,” Bhuse told officials.
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