BANGALORE: Horticulture crops like maize seems to be preferred by farmers in various districts due to change in crop pattern over the last three decades.
The pest-resistant and farmer-friendly maize cultivation has increased manifold across the state.
This has affected the growth of traditional crops like ragi, jawar and bajra.
The growth of all these crops have been reduced by 25 to 30 per cent.
This clearly shows that farmers are now slowly switching over to other crops for monetary benefits .
Experts say that the state has witnessed a severe crop pattern as the policy framework has failed to address some of the prime concerns of farm labour like procurement price, marketing initiatives and water management.
According to a department of agriculture data, the area of jawar cultivation has been reduced to 12.
88 lakh hectare in 2010-11 from 19.
90 lakh hectares in 1980- 81.
Similarly, the area of ragi and bajra cultivation has been reduced to 7.
88 lakh and 3.
09 lakh hectares respectively in 2010-11 from 10.
57 lakh and 5.
64 lakh hectares in 1980-81 respectively.
The area of maize cultivation has increased to 1.
88 lakh hectares in 2010-11 from 1
57 lakh hectares in 1980-81.
With farms facing severe labour crunch, farmers prefer horticulture crops since they not labour intensive.
Now, experts believe that the change in crop pattern is due to the failure to address major issues of labour shortage and minimum support price for farm produce.
According to them, this will not impact the food security of the nation.
According to Vice-Chancellor of University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore Dr Narayana Gowda there is a violation in crop pattern and it is difficult to control what the farmers produce as they would depend on crops that bring earn him profit.
“However, to account for changing crop patterns and (increasing in some areas and decreasing in others) shifting boundaries for crops, we would take up the initiative to survey it in the state and come up with suggestions in the next few months,” he said.
There is a need to rethink ideas on water conservation and irrigation techniques and provide better marketing facility,he added.
Recently, Commission on Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) has asked for a 15 to 53 per cent rise in Minimum Support Price (MSP) for kharif crops.