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Compensatory Production for Kharif Deficit

17.      Compensatory Production for Kharif Deficit

    In  order  to  compensate  for  the  loss  of  production  during  kharif  2009, advance and meticulous planning for rabi and summer crops has become crucial to  cover  up  kharif  deficit. Improved  technology  for  rabi  including Resource Conservation  Technology for  enhancing  production  and  profitability of  wheat and other rabi crops, promotion of winter maize and improved technology for rabi/  summer  rice,  particularly  for  Boro-rice  areas  will  need  more  focussed attention.  Preparations for pre-rabi/ rabi and summer crops will require region specific cropping plans including identification of suitable crops and varieties, supply  of  seeds  and  inputs  and  promotion  of  improved  agronomic,  soil  and water management practices.

    Extra  efforts  for  intensification  of  agricultural  activities  in  normal  and surplus  monsoon  areas/  States during  ongoing kharif  and  ensuing  rabi  season for  enhancing  productivity  assumes  greater  importance  to  capitalise  on  good resource base  to  compensate  for  the  kharif  production  shortfall  in  deficit monsoon hit areas of the country.

 

17.1   Boro Rice

    Non-kharif,  Boro  and  summer  rice  has  been  cultivated  traditionally  in water  logged,  low-lying  or  medium lands with irrigation  during  November  to May  in  Eastern  India. It is a  relatively  long  duration  (six  month) crop  as compared to kharif season (4-5 months).  It, therefore requires more number of irrigations  and  also being  non  rainy season period.    Fortunately  boro  rice cultivated  areas  have  reliable  ground  water  resources. Nursery  is  raised  in November  and transplanted  in  January.  Boro  is  a  winter  season,  photo-in sensitive,  transplanted   rice cultivated  on   supplemental irrigation. Rapid expansion of boro rice has taken place in recent years in West Bengal and Bihar and  is  fast expanding  to  more  areas  in  Bihar,  West  Bengal,  Assam,  parts  of Eastern  U.P.,  Orissa  and  Andhra  Pradesh.  Boro rice  in  India  expanded  from1.35 million ha (1991) to 2.95 million ha (2000), and is spreading further. Boro rice has 2-3 times higher productivity (5-6 t/ha) in deep water areas of eastern India  against  productivity  of  traditional  kharif  rice (1.3-2.5  t/ha).  Its  yield  is more on account of better water management, longer duration (165-180 days), more sunshine and least infestation of pests and diseases during boro season.

 

     Major Boro Rice Growing Areas


  

STATE

DISTRICTS

 Bihar

Purnia, Katihar, Madhepura, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Supaul,  Kishan   Ganj,  Saharsa  (Low-   lying chaurs and chauri)

Eastern U.P.

Ballia, Basti, Gorakhpur, Deoria, Gazippur

(Lake, river, nalaha, etc,)

West Bengal      

Bardwan, 24-Pargana, Nadia, Midnapur, Bankura

Orrisa             

Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara (Low-lying areas of coastal belt)

Assam              

Nawgaon, Karimganj (Lake areas)

Tripura

 

Meghalaya

 

 

    Boro /summer rice takes advantage of residual moisture after the harvest of kharif rice especially in low lying regions, areas adjoining canal and roads, chaur lands etc. Opportunity for intensification of boro rice cultivation in such areas  of Eastern  India  should  be  capitalised  for  enhanced  rice  production  to meet  expected  shortfall  of 2009  kharif  rice production.  Suitable  varieties  of Boro/  summer  rice  for  different  Eastern  States  are  given  in  Annexure  -  5.  In view of limited water availability, the recommended nursery management, land preparation, agronomic and water management practices are given in Annexure - 6.

    Intensification of boro/summer rice with improved technology and inputs (water  and  fertilizer  management)  in  Eastern India  will  help  in  obtaining additional rice production. This may also have to be incentivized by supporting low cost  polyhouse and/or low plastic tunnels for raising nursery to avoid cold injury  to  seedlings  where temperatures  are  low. Sprinkler  irrigation  of  main crop  may be promoted to effect water saving especially where groundwater is used.

    Besides  boro/summer  rice  in  Eastern  India,  intensive  cultivation  of  rice with better management and inputs should be emphasised during NE monsoon period in States like Tamil Nadu to cover up deficit production of kharif rice in north India. Storage  position  of  important  reservoirs  in  Tamil   Nadu  and Karnataka is also favourable as on today. Appropriate provisions for supply of energy (electrical/diesel) will need to be put in place for lifting water, wherever needed.

 

17.2   Winter Maize

 

    Karnataka,   Andhra   Pradesh   and   Bihar   are   the   three   largest   maize producing  states  with  2.72,  2.46  and  1.72  million  tons  respectively  closely followed  by Uttar  Pradesh  and  Maharashtra.  Cultivation  of  maize  in  winter season  started  in  mid  60s  in  some  pockets  of  Bihar  and  South  India.  Yield obtained during this season is invariably higher (>6 t/ha) than the Kharif season yield (2-2.5 t/ha.) due to long duration of growth and least infestation of pests and diseases. In Bihar, maize can be taken up in all the three seasons. In recent years, significant changes have occurred in maize production and utilization due to  increasing   commercial   orientation  of  this crop   and   rising demand  for diversified end users, especially for feed and industrial uses. A sizable number of  districts  (110  districts),  in  the states  of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka,  Bihar, Maharashtra,  Uttar  Pradesh,  Madhya  Pradesh,  West  Bengal,  Orissa, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu have potential for growing winter  maize (Annexure-7). In Bihar alone, there are 18 such districts out of 38 districts.

    There  is  a  vast  opportunity  for  intensification  of  winter  maize  during flood free period in these and other districts to compensate for the loss during Kharif season with proper planning for seeds, inputs and improved management practices and crop diversification. The medium and uplands where subsistence yield of wheat, rabi rice and other winter crops is obtained, could be substituted by winter maize in Bihar, West Bengal, Eastern UP, Orissa, parts of Jharkhand etc.  Maize varieties  like Shaktimaan-1,2,3,4, Laxmi,  Dewaki,  Rajender-1,2, High  Starch  and  Ganga-11  are  the  recommended varieties  for  rabi maize  in Bihar region. In general, any late maturing single cross-bred variety of Kharif season is equally good for winter season. Winter maize (170-180 days duration) has the clear cut comparative advantages of low incidence of diseases and insect pests, is not affected by temperature rise during winter (as the wheat is) and do not suffer on  account of heavy rainfall. Cultivation  of  maize  with  zero-tillage drill  is also  gaining  momentum  as  it  can  make  best  use  of residual moisture, reduce cost of cultivation and thereby increase profitability.

 

17.3   Wheat and other Rabi Crops

    Timely sowing of wheat and expansion of zero tillage technique to cover more and more areas in the Indo-Gangetic plains of UP and Bihar for enhanced productivity,  water and cost  saving.  In  UP  and  Bihar,  zero  tillage  machines should be promoted  at  massive  scale  through  providing  liberal  subsidy  for adopting  zero  tillage.  This  will advance  the sowing of  wheat  in  otherwise traditionally  late  sown  conditions  and  help  achieve  higher  productivity.  The sowing of wheat in States like Haryana and Punjab should preferably be done during  25th   October  to  25th   November  under timely  sown condition.  The  old varieties like PBW 343 and PBW 502, which have become susceptible to rust diseases, should be replaced in these States with resistant varieties like DBW 17 and PBW 550 possessing high potential. The situations where harvest of paddy is delayed, the early maturing wheat varieties like PBW 373, WH 1021, PBW 509, DBW 16,  UP 2425,  Raj  3765, PBW 590 etc. should  be sown  preferably using zero tillage drill.


17.4   Intensification of Rabi pulses and oil seeds

 

    Concerted efforts may be made in enhancing productivity of pulses in Tal areas of Bihar through better water and fertilizer management. Rice fallow areas in eastern and central India may be targeted for pulses like chickpea, lentil etc. together  with moisture  conservation  measures.  In  acid  soils  of  eastern  region, cultivation   of   pulses  should be  promoted  with application  of lime plus recommended  dose  of  fertilizer  for  enhancing  production  and  productivity  of pulses.


17.4   Intensification of Rabi pulses and oil seeds

 

    Concerted efforts may be made in enhancing productivity of pulses in Tal areas of Bihar through better water and  fertilizer management. Rice fallow areas in eastern and central India may be targeted for pulses like chickpea, lentil etc. together  with moisture  conservation  measures.  In  acid  soils  of  eastern  region, cultivation   of   pulses  should  be  promoted   with   application of lime plus recommended  dose  of  fertilizer  for  enhancing  production  and  productivity  of pulses.

 

Medium and Long Term Strategy

Medium  and  long  term  strategies  should  aim  at  creating  resilience  or robustness by various mitigative measures productively.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ministry of Agriculture, GOI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.