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Center Pushes for Zaid Crops to Lessen Kharif Deficit

Pronami Chetia
Pronami Chetia

Amid the deficit of pulses production, the government is planning to lessen the deficit during Kharif season through a strong push for short duration Zaid crops that sown between February- June.

“We are targeting to plant mainly pulses like urad and moong across 4.9 million hectares - up by 75 percent from last year’s acreage of 2.8 million hectares. Reports of crop damages of pulses have come from Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka due to excessive rains and floods. We are encouraging farmers to use the fallow land for Zaid crops,” said a senior agriculture official.

What is Zaid Crop?

The crops which are grown in the summers between Rabi and Kharif Season (March to June) are known as Zaid crops which include cucumber, watermelon, bitter ground, pumpkin, etc.

The Zaid crops need dry weather with the availability of irrigation facilities for a good harvest. The planting for shorter duration crops starts from February and lasts till April so that the land gets ready again for Kharif sowing in June after monsoon sets in.

As per the reports of India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), there will be an estimated 30 percent shortfall in moong production and 50 percent in urad production. Moreover, there may be a drop of 10 percent in the pulses production this year from a target of 26.3 million tonnes.

“In 2017-18, 2.1 million hectares were sown which went up to 2.8 million hectares last year and now we expect to touch 4.9 million hectares. Since many farmers had bad Kharif harvest, they are likely to plant pulses for zaid,” say reports.

“Due to good rains, the water storage in 120 major reservoirs is 155 percent more than last year – an ideal situation for irrigation based zaid farming. Also, cultivation of legumes like pulses between Rabi and Kharif sowing restores nitrogen in the soil – vital for fertility,” said the agriculture official.

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