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November 2, 2019

Less water-intensive crops being encouraged

Less water-intensive crops being encouraged

With often-changing rainfall patterns, farmers in several places are resorting to using groundwater. This though does more harm than good as groundwater is used extensively for drinking and excessive extraction also leads to subsidence.

Many places in the district have two-crop lands (‘do-fasali’) and less rainfall can lead to big losses for the farmers.

To cope with this issue, the State Government is encouraging farmers to grow less water-intensive crops, and also vegetables and fruits. The district of Purba Bardhaman is being made an example through the coordinated efforts of the Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing and Horticulture Departments.

Among the measures being encouraged are:

  • Growing less water-intensive rice varieties like Shatabdi, Kshitish, IR-36, IR-64, MTU-1010, DRR-42 and Sahbhagi (can be cultivated in 100 to 115 days)
  • Growing oilseed crops and pulses (like ‘kalai’, or ‘urad’) during the rabi growing season
  • Concentrating on growing onion, maize, groundnut and yam
  • Cultivating fruits like banana, guava, mango, lemongrass (for fragrance), dragon fruit and strawberry (dragon fruit, mango and strawberry have big export potential, with mango from Purbasthali already being exported to other States and even countries)
  • Growing flowers and orchids (both of these also have a lot of commercial potential)

Source: Aajkaal