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Why Zaid Season is Important for Farmers

Zaid season, the cropping season between Rabi and Kharif, is crucial for farmers to maintain their cashflow.

Shipra Singh
Zaid crop sunflower
Zaid crop sunflower

The Zaid cropping season is approaching. Soon, farmers will prepare their lands for a range of crops that promise to give them a continuous source of income between Rabi and Kharif cropping seasons. Since a few years, the government has begun focusing on Zaid season and it has paid well. Although area under Kharif cultivation is huge – about 107 million hectares, Zaid cultivation is done in just 2% of this area. 

Main crops grown under Zaid 

  • Muskmelon

  • Watermelon 

  • Pumpkin

  • Cucumber

  • Bitter gourd

  • Sugarcane

  • Sunflower 

  • Groundnut

  • A few pulses

Zaid crops are short-duration crops, cultivated from March-April to May-June. This is the season between Rabi and Kharif, the two chief cropping seasons of India.  

Major Zaid cultivation areas 

Zaid crops are usually cultivated in the irrigated areas of the country viz; Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu.  

Top features of Zaid crops 

  • Zaid crops are basically summer crops that do well in regions that do not depend on monsoons. That’s why they are grown in well-irrigated lands. 

  • These are short duration crops, although sugarcane is harvested after a year of cultivating. 

  • Zaid crops give farmers a constant source of income and fill the “gap” between Rabi and Kharif seasons. 

  • Zaid crops need dry and warm weather during chief growing stage and longer days during flowering stage. Months from March and June are warm, dry, and with longer days, so they pose the best months for these crops. 

  • Chief Zaid crops include seasonal fruits and vegetables that are sown during March and April and harvested during June and July. They provide nutrition to the platter of end consumer and keep the wallets of the grower happy. 

The government’s initiative 

The government, in recent years, has started giving importance to the Zaid season. This cropping season has the potential to decrease the deficit in the production of pulses during Kharif. Certain pulses can be grown in the season between February and June. 

Pulses like moong and urad can be easily sown in this season. There had been reports of crop damage due to heavy rains in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh last year. If farmers use the fallow land to grow Zaid crops, they can save their crops from monsoon damage.  

The government, through this idea, intends to increase the area under cultivation of moon and urad across 4.9 million hectares, which will be a whopping increase of 75% from the area under cultivation of 2.8 million hectares in 2019.  

Zaid season gives farmers a chance to utilize their land and water reserves to grow profitable crops, which include a few pulses. Growing cucumbers and melons during this season are particularly beneficial because, as the summer approaches, the demand for cucumbers, watermelon, and musk melon increases in the market. So, the crops can prove to be quite lucrative for farmers.  

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