Water Scarcity: Water Paucity Leads To Drop In Summer Sowing In District | Pune News

Pune: The district agriculture office recorded below-average summer sowing because of water shortage in 13 tehsils of Pune district.Sowing took place on 9,110 hectare (ha) against the average sowing of 11,094 ha, dropping to 82%. In this period, farmers mainly sowed bajra, groundnuts and maize.The area under groundnut had reduced significantly in the district and was sown on 48.4 ha against the average of 191.5 ha.District agriculture officer Sanjay Kachole told TOI, “Summer sowing happens in Jan and Feb. Farmers reap the harvest before the monsoon. Sowing in summer months mainly depends on water sources. Farmers avoid the activity if they do not have a dependable source of water. This year, the situation is grim since there was barely any water in many tehsils in March, forcing tillers to avoid going ahead with the crops in the district.”Many farmers had adopted the practice of sowing bajra and groundnuts in summer to avoid complications in the monsoon period.“We usually have an impressive harvest of bajra and groundnuts as against the traditional kharif sowing. We prefer this period of the year. This year, sowing was low due to water scarcity,” said Santosh Ukirde, a farmer from Junnar.According to the agriculture office, bajra had been sown on 3,820 ha land against an average of 4,232 ha.“Achieving 90% sowing in this adverse situation is an impressive figure. It will not affect the harvest much. Markets will barely see fluctuations in the prices of bajra in the coming days,” Kachole said, adding that maize sowing had almost doubled this year.“There is a huge demand for maize in the market since it is used as green fodder for cattle in the district. The crop does not require much water and can be harvested within two months. As a result, many farmers have sown maize for a quick income before monsoon arrives,” said a senior agriculture official.

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