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Govt to push use of certified seeds to boost nutri-cereal kharif crop

Tuesday, May 21

 

By Kaushal Verma

 

NEW DELHI – The government aims to prop up the production of nutri-cereals–jowar, bajra, and ragi–this kharif season by ensuring more-than sufficient availability of certified seeds, a senior official said.

 

Certified seeds are considered the best in quality and yield, and are produced from foundation seeds that are derived from breeder seeds by agricultural scientists.

 

"The Centre has ensured ample supply of high-yielding certified seeds as it is giving special thrust on producing nutri-cereals through area expansion and productivity enhancement in a sustainable manner," the official said.

 

Currently, the government has 25,350.1 tn of certified Bajra seeds as against a requirement of 23,566.5 tn for cultivation in the next kharif season. It has 351.3 tn more amount of jowar certified seeds than the required 13,559.5 tn, and 1,651.9 tn higher amount of ragi certified seeds against a demand of 2,575.9 tn, the official said.

 

To promote sowing of nutri-cereals, the government is also providing minikits, that contain certified seeds and agricultural inputs, to farmers, he said.

 

On the recommendations of the NITI Aayog, the Centre has decided to create a sub-mission on nutri-cereals in 2018-19 under the existing National Food Security Mission-Coarse Cereals, he said.

 

"The Centre is strengthening processing clusters and value addition at farm level to enhance local consumption…to encourage farmers to sow nutri-cereals," the official said.

 

The government is also working to increase post-harvest value addition at the farm itself to provide better price realisation through efficient market linkages, he said.

 

In the 2018-19 kharif season, jowar production was 1.92 mln tn, down 8.6% from a year ago, bajra output also fell 18.3% on year to 7.46 mln tn, and ragi crop fell 33.3% on year to 1.32 mln tn, according to the farm ministry's second advance estimates.

 

Edited by Mainak Moitra

 

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