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Expecting early sowing of winter crops in states that witnessed poor and erratic rains in the kharif season, the Centre on Thursday said it will distribute seeds minikits of pulses and oilseeds in those states.
Normally, sowing of rabi (winter) crops begins from October and continues till mid-November, after harvesting of kharif (summer) crops.
According to the agriculture ministry, the erratic and deficit rainfall in some states during this kharif season has necessitated the need for early sowing of rabi crops especially pulses and oilseeds.
The government's focus is also to provide seed minikits of pulses and oilseeds targeting monsoon deficit regions in the states apart from the regular distribution, it said in a statement.
The minikits are being provided by central agencies such as National Seeds Corporation (NSC) and NAFED and the distribution is funded by the central government through the National Food Security Mission.
To promote pulses sowing, the government has allocated 4.54 lakh seed minikits of lentil and urad, and 4.04 lakh minikits of lentil for 11 states with an aim of early sowing, especially in rain deficit regions of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar.
"This is 33.8 per cent of total allocation and 39.4 per cent higher than last year for these three rain deficit states," the ministry said.
The government is also implementing a special programme 'Tur, MasooR, Urad 370' from 2022-23, through which 120 districts under masoor and 150 districts under urad are being targeted to increase the production and productivity of these pulse crops by ensuring maximum convergence of components in these targeted districts.
Oilseeds are being promoted through distribution of around 8.3 lakh seed minikits with value of Rs 39.22 crore of various crops namely mustard, groundnut, soyabean, safflower and linseed free of cost directly to the farmers.
The government had implemented Special Mustard Mission of Rabi 2021-22 which resulted in increase in area by 20 per cent and production by 15 per cent.
This year (2022-23), an allocation of 26.5 lakh rapeseed and mustard seeds minikits with value of Rs 50.41 crore has been approved for distribution in 301 districts of 18 states as part of a special programme.
Since 2014-15, there has been a renewed focus on increasing the production of oilseeds and pulses. The efforts have yielded good results.
Oilseeds production has increased from 27.51 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 37.70 million tonnes in 2021-22 (4th advance estimates). Pulses production has shown similar increasing trend.
The seed minikit distribution programme is a major tool for introducing new varieties of seeds in the farmers' fields and is instrumental for increasing the seed replacement rate.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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First Published: Thu, September 22 2022. 20:01 IST