By admin       2018-07-24

The area under cotton cultivation has shrunk by 20% as compared to last year in western Vidarbha with the possibility of soyabean and tur being preferred as cash crop this kharif season. With good rains all over the region, sowing operations are nearing completion, according to top agriculture officials of Amravati and Nagpur divisions.However, in eastern Vidarbha’s Nagpur division, the picture is a contrast with cotton area going up to 137% of the normal estimates and soyabean as well as tur showing a dip. The recent hike in minimum support prices by the Centre that came when sowing operations were at full swing seems to have influenced the choice of crops.“Farmers in Vidarbha are trapped in the triangle of three main crops of cotton, soyabean and tur. And that trend continues this time too,” said Amravati division’s joint director of agriculture Subhash Nagare. “So the dip of 20% in cotton area will see soya and tur areas going up,” he added.As per the last available data for Amravati division, sowing was completed in 90% of the cultivable land.Normally cotton is taken up in about 20 lakh hectares in the region, most of it in Amravati division. Nagpur division has large pockets of paddy areas in Gondia, Bhandara, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli. But this time there is shift towards cotton in a big way with the latest data indicating cotton has been sown in 6.18 lakh hectares. Last year it was done in 4.51 lakh hectares.The more fancied soyabean is seeing a decline in Nagpur division with sowing done only in 2.42 lakh hectares as against the estimated area of 5.28 lakh hectares. Tur sowing figures stood at 1.54 lakh ha or 79% of the average area.The total sowing was only 61% accounting for lower paddy transplantation that is carried on till mid-August. Till date, only 18% of paddy has been transplanted from nurseries. Paddy farming is expected to be far better this kharif season as compared to last year that saw scanty rains in Bhandara-Gondia and farmers unable to grow the crop.

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