Hyderabad: The State of Telangana has undergone transformation in its landscape with the large amount of additional land brought under irrigation by the implementation of Kakatiya Mission and Kaleshwaram Project. The government of Telangana should include pulses in the public distribution system. This will slowly help small farmers to diversify from paddy to pulses. Farmers should be encouraged to grow pulses as single crops instead of growing pulse in a mixed crop, said a report on ‘Pulses: Opportunities and Way Forward’, brought out by industry body FTCCI.
The area under pulses in the state is showing a decreasing trend. The reasons for decrease in area under pulses’ cultivation may be attributed to farmers preferring cash crops like cotton, maize, oilseeds and others over pulses because of their better returns and lesser risk. The unfavourable climatic conditions have also affected the area under pulses adversely.
Combined with improvements in power supply the state is slowly accelerating the process of moving towards mono cropping pattern, more so towards paddy cultivation. Mono cropping affects soil health, and creates biotic and abiotic stress to the soil. This may lead to an increase in the extent of fallow land, it said.
As per data, Telangana State has 17 lakh hectares of fallow land constituting 15% of geographical area and cultivation. The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices CACP has called for conversion of rice fallow land for pulses production to facilitate better income for farmers that also improves the soil fertility by nitrogen fixation, the report said.
Since the farmers are diverting their crops from pulses to cash crops and cereals, they are forced to buy pulses, the prices of which are always high. As a result they cut down on pulse consumption leading to insufficient protein intake and undernourishment. Thus, there is an urgent need to increase pulses production and improve consumption levels, the report said.
Crop Zone System needs to be implemented for focussed growth of agri and allied sectors. Zone specific development policies enable faster growth and regional development. Government may designate certain areas or districts for pulses cultivation and provide the farmers with high yielding variety seeds, pest control measures and post-harvest facilities. ‘One District One Product’ scheme may be used to promote pulse processing industries in the respective districts.
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