Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rajkot Junagadh Kutch Porbandar Water Shortage Summer News Gujarat India

Cultivation area for summer crops like sesame and pulses has shrunk by 1 lakh hectares.

The Saurashtra region and Kutch region, which is reeling under a drinking water scarcity, is now facing the problem of unavailability of irrigation water, leaving the farmers high and dry.

The total cultivation area for summer crops like sesame, pulses, millet and groundnut has shrunk by one lakh hectares, implying the yield will go down by at least 50 per cent.

Sowing in — Rajkot District, Jamnagar District, Junagadh District, Amreli District, Surendranagar District, Porbandar District, Bhavnagar District and Kutch District — has been over. The total cultivation area has touched the 1.62 lakh hectare mark, nearly 1 lakh hectare less than the previous year. Last year, the cultivation area for the main summer crops remained around 2.64 lakh hectares.

Bhartiya Kisan Sangh Secretary Laxman Patolia said: “Water is not available to the farmers either through bore wells or the pipeline supply. Farmers cannot even think of sowing and cultivation.”

A senior agriculture department official said on condition of anonymity that the water crisis has led to a shrinking of the area under cultivation.

“The farmers are going to miss one season. For the past 5-6 years, the rainfall had been good; the farmers could take summer crops also. But this is not the case this time, which means a big revenue loss for the agriculture sector,” Patolia added.

Sesame cultivation has been the worst affected. The sowing area has gone down by 67 per cent — from 63,772 to 21,077 hectares. In the last couple of years, sesame has emerged as one of the best cash crop for farmers in Gujarat. But this time, the water scarcity has changed the scenario a bit.

Junagadh City tops the list of areas under sesame cultivation at 6,785 hectares followed by JamnagarCity and Surendranagar City. These were the districts that received better rainfall.

In other districts, sesame sowing has remained between 500 and 1,500 hectares. Cultivation of black gram (urad dal) has gone down by 66 per cent — the sowing area has shrunk from 1,771 to 598 hectares. In case of groundnut, the sowing area has shrunk by 55 per cent.

The sowing of millet has been reduced by 15 per cent, from 17,592 to 15,094 hectares. In Junagadh and Surendranagar districts, millet has been sowed on 4,750 and 3,975 hectares, which were 6,785 and 5,550 hectares last year.

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