The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has formulated a special strategy for the ensuing Kharif 2021 season and has proposed to distribute 20,27,318, almost 10 times more, seed mini kits than the 2020-21 season costing Rs 82.01 crores. The total cost for these mini-kits will be borne by the Central Government to boost the production and productivity of Tur, Moong and Urad. The following mini-kits will be distributed:

13,51,710 mini kits of arhar containing certified seeds of HYVs of arhar released during the last ten years and productivity not less than 15 qtl/ha- for inter-cropping.

4,73,295 mini kits of moong containing certified seeds of HYVs of moong released during the last ten years but productivity not less than 10 qtl/ha for inter-cropping.

93,805 mini kits of urad containing certified seeds of HYVs of urad released during the last ten years but productivity not less than 10 qtl/ha for inter-cropping. 1,08,508 mini kits of urad containing certified seeds of urad HYVs of urad released during the last 15 years and productivity not less than 10 qtl/ha for Sole Crop.

The above mini-kits used for inter-cropping and urad Sole Crop will cover an area of 4.05 lakh hectare in the Kharif season 2021 to be funded by the Central Government. In addition to this, the usual programme of inter-cropping and area expansion by the states will continue on a sharing basis between the Centre and the States.

Through consultations with the state governments, a detailed plan for both area expansion and productivity enhancement for Tur, Moong and Urad has been formulated.

Under the strategy, utilising all the high yielding varieties (HYVs) of seeds that are available either with the Central Seed Agencies or in the States will be distributed free of cost to increase area through inter-cropping and Sole Crop.

Tur inter-cropping will be covered in 11 states and 187 districts. The states are Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

Moong inter-cropping will be covered in 9 states and 85 districts. The states are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

Urad inter-cropping will be covered in 6 states in 60 districts. The states are Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Urad Sole Cropping will be covered in 6 states.

For effective implementation of the Kharif mini kit programme, a massive outreach with the concerned district will be held both through a series of webinars by the central and state governments to ensure that there are no hiccups. District level training programmes during the crop season will be organized through the District Agriculture Office and the ATMA network for good agriculture practices and the use of new seeds in subsequent seasons as well. The Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes (ATARIs) and Krishi Vigyan Kendras will also be roped in for effective implementation and training to the farmers.

The mini kits will be supplied by the Central and state agencies to the destination at the district level approved under the strategy by June 15, with the total cost of Rs 82.01 crores to be borne by the Central government. India is still importing around 4 lakh tonnes of tur, 0.6 lakh tonnes of moong and around 3 lakh tonnes of urad for meeting its demand. The special programme will increase the production and productivity of Tur, Moong and Urad to a great extent and will play an important role in reducing the import burden and propel India to become ‘Atmanirbhar’ in the production of pulses.

Looking at the production of 14.76 million tonnes in 2007-08, the figure has now reached 24.42 million tonnes in 2020-2021 (2nd advance estimates) which is a phenomenal increase of 65%.

–IANS

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