28 January 2022, New Delhi: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Kumar Tomar addressing the Summer Campaign 2021-22 conference said that summer crops not only provide extra income but also create employment opportunities in between Rabi and Kharif for the farmers thereby increasing crop intensity.
The Government has taken new initiatives through various programmes for cultivation of summer crops such as pulses, coarse cereals, nutri-cereals, and oilseeds. Though more than half of cultivated area in summer season is under pulses, oilseeds and nutri-cereals, the farmers with irrigation source are growing rice and vegetables during the summer season. He highlighted that area under cultivation of zaid crops including rice has increased progressively 2.7 times from 29.71 lakh hectares in 2017-18 to 80.46 lakh hectares in 2020-21.
The objective of Zaid conference is to review and assess the crop performance during the preceding crop seasons and fix crop-wise targets for summer season in consultation with State Governments. The Minister assured full support to ensure supply of critical inputs and facilitate adoption of innovative technologies with a view to enhance production and productivity of the crops. The priority of government is to increase production of oilseeds and pulses where large imports are required.
National and state wise targets for pulses, oilseeds and nutri-cereals were set for the summer 2021-22. Compared to 40.85 lakh hectares under these crops in 2020-21, an area of 52.72 lakh hectares will be covered during 2021-22 in the country. Pulses will cover 21.05 lakh hectares while 13.78 and 17.89 lakh hectares will be brought under oilseeds and nutri-cereals, respectively. Pulses and oilseeds will be promoted through Targeted Rice Fallow Area sub-component of NFSM and NFSM (OS&OP). These will also be supported as inter-crops in Sugarcane and Oil Palm.
Speaking on the new varieties developed by the ICAR, Mr. Tomar said that States should use new varieties of seeds for better production of summer crops. The Minister also asked States to plan in advance for their fertilizers needs and provide estimates to the center so that fertilizer department can provide sufficient fertilizers timely. He also suggested that States should increase the use of NPK and liquid urea and reduce the dependence on DAP fertilizers.
India produced 3086.47 lakh tonnes of food grains during 2020-21 (4th Advance Estimates), which will be an all-time record. Pulses and oilseed production has also achieved all time high at 257.19 and 361.01 lakh tonnes, respectively. Production of cotton is being estimated at 353.84 lakh bales with which India is set to rise to the first position in the world. On the production and productivity fronts, the horticulture sector has also outperformed conventional food grain crops.
The total availability of fertilizer during Kharif 2022 was also shared during the conference by the Department of Fertilizer. Urea is likely to be 255.28(LMT), DAP 81.24(LMT), MOP 18.50(LMT), NPKS 76.87(LMT) and SSP 34(LMT).