The cultivation of guar in the region may go down this year as compared to previous years, as the Vikas WSP, a Rajasthan-based firm, that used to encourage farmers to cultivate guar by offering `40,000 to farmers for engaging each acre for guar, will not do so any more.
Farmers took keen interest in guar cultivation when the firm used to pay them for engaging each acre for guar.
"Vikas WSP was exporting gum made of guar seeds to a foreign company which was engaged in oil extraction. The gum is used to fix joints of pipes used in extraction of oil. But, of late, the foreign company has ended its contract with Vikas WSP," said Gurdit Singh, district agriculture officer, Mansa.
Locals claim that before this company approached farmers in the state, the cultivation of guar was not much.
In 2013, farmers engaged 5,000 acres of land with a yield of 945 kg per hectare, Meanwhile, this year, it has reduced to 2,000 acres and the yield is expected to be 950 kg per hectare.
But, some of the farmers who still grow the crop, confirmed that though exports were the reason for high productivity, they engage in guar farming because of the fact that this crop increases the soil fertility, consumes less pesticide and is also one of the cattle fodder.
"If export was the only reason for high cultivation, the government should engage such firms which are involved in the extraction of oil so that guar gum is again in demand," said one of the officials of the agriculture department.