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Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

Dry spell extension: Farmers might need to sow again

The state minister took a review of sowing in Pune division on Friday and later addressed the media

pune Updated: Jul 20, 2019 15:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Suhas Divase, agriculture commissioner, said that the contingency plan is ready and the state government had made provision for alternate seeds if needed for soyabean and other crops.
Suhas Divase, agriculture commissioner, said that the contingency plan is ready and the state government had made provision for alternate seeds if needed for soyabean and other crops.(PICTURE FOR REPRESENTATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY)
         

As dry spell is extended in the state, farmers might need to do repeat sowing and the Maharashtra government is ready to provide help for farmers said agriculture minister Anil Bonde.

The state minister took a review of sowing in Pune division on Friday and later addressed the media.

The minister said that almost fifty percentage sowing was completed in the state, but as monsoon’s dry spell extended, there are chances that sowing would be wasted and farmers might need to do sowing again.

Bonde said, “I have instructed the agriculture department to keep a contingency plan ready to help the farmers and if needed provide seeds and fertilisers in such case.

The minister said that as compared to Marathwada and Vidharbha regions, the situation in western Maharashtra is better. The situation in Vidharbha and Marathwada is bad as many areas did not receive enough rains.

Bonde said, “I visited the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday and had a detailed discussion about monsoon progress. IMD officers have forecast that monsoon would progress from next two days and almost all parts of the state would receive rains. Timely rain would help to save the sowing crops otherwise farmers have no option, but to do sowing again.

The minister said that as some parts of western Maharashtra received deficit rains, the state government has decided to do cloud seeding in Solapur area which will benefit regions of western Maharashtra.

Suhas Divase, agriculture commissioner, said that the contingency plan is ready and the state government had made provision for alternate seeds if needed for soyabean and other crops.

Seeding is a method to induce rains over dams or catchment areas. Sorties are flown over them to spray a water-salt solution. Usually, rain falls within half an hour of seeding, experts have claimed.

Agricultural department proposed to do cloud seeding every year in the state

Instead of waiting for rains, the agriculture department has proposed to do cloud seeding every year as a routine practice. Authorities have even proposed to allocate ₹100 crore in the annual budget for it.

Anil Bonde, Maharashtra agriculture minister, said, “Marathwada and Vidharbha regions in Maharashtra are facing deficient monsoon and the situation is getting worse. The state government has decided to do artificial rain experiment in the state in the last week of July or first week of August.”

Bonde said, “The state government has appointed a Bengaluru-based agency for cloud seeding. I visited the India Meteorological Department (IMD) office in Pune on Friday and tracked the progress of monsoon. The weather department is confident that the state would receive rain from July 21. Despite rains, Maharashtra government would go ahead for cloud seeding.”

Minister said, “I have instructed the agriculture department to prepare a proposal for making cloud seeding a yearly activity. The state government should keep ₹100 crore budgetary provision for it if needed. Maharashtra is already spending a lot of money on drought management and providing water tanker. Allocating a yearly budget for cloud seeding would be helpful.”

Bonde said the cloud seeding is not hundred per cent successful. “As per information given by experts, an average 45 per cent successful result is getting through cloud seeding, but we need to take that risk,” he said.

Cloud seeding in July end or August first week

Maharashtra to do cloud seeding in Solapur, Aurangabad and Nagpur regions where monsoon is deficit. The Doppler radars are installed and as per scientist information, rain can fall in 400 km radius after cloud seeding. The cloud seeding would start in last week of July or first week of August.

First Published: Jul 20, 2019 15:01 IST

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