Shimla, July 6: Good rain in June has improved the prospects of Kharif crop. As a result, the state Agriculture Department has fixed Kharif target at 8.94 lakh tonnes for 2017-18. The target includes 7.40 lakh tonnes of maize, 1.32 lakh tonnes of paddy, 4.4 thousand tonnes of oilseeds. A target of 9.45 lakh tonnes of vegetable production had also been fixed, said Agriculture Director Dr Ved Prakash. In the past three years, the vegetable production has almost surpassed the foodgrain production in the state and the total foodgrain target for the year is 16 lakh tonnes.
Himachal has received 12 per cent excess rain from June 1 and monsoon is also normal and the local MeT Department has predicted rain and thunder showers in lower and mid hills and rain and snow in high hills for six days. Due to sufficient moisture in the soil, conditions had become favourable for Kharif sowing and the department was facilitating farmers by providing good quality seeds, fertilisers, medicines and modern farming tools, Prakash said.
Giving relief to farmers cultivating cash crops, four cash crops of ginger, peas, potato and tomato have also been covered under the Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) from the Kharif season 2017. The farmers in Himachal had taken a big leap in off-season vegetable cultivation but due to hostile weather conditions, the farmers had given up tomato and peas cultivation in many areas as there was no insurance coverage. Even the potato and ginger crops were not safe and excessive rain and frost were causing damage to the crops.
Source Tribune India