Gandhinagar, 31 July 2020
The report prepared by the Gujarat Agriculture Department on 27 July 2020 is shocking to the whole of Gujarat. The anti-farmer policy of the Gujarat government has been exposed in this. Farmers in Gujarat are reducing cultivation of grains and pulses. The farmers who produce granaries are now reducing the cultivation of grains and pulses, for which cash crops are responsible? Or is it that the Gujarat government is giving food grains to free and it is not giving the prices of the produce to the farmers?
In the last five years, farmers are now growing fewer grains. This year sown only 9.56 lakh hectares, as compared to 15.56 lakh hectares five years ago. Which is not likely to exceed 10 lakh hectares at the end of the monsoon 2020. Thus, farmers have reduced planting of grains by 50 percent. The reason behind this is that the prices of food grains are not available to the farmers, because the government is providing free food grains. If the policy of the government remains the same, farmers will produce less food grains, so prices may increase.
Paddy cultivation in 2013 was 8 lakh hectares, which has increased to 5 lakh this year. At the end of season there may be 6 lakhs. Thus, paddy also declined by about 25 percent. The government is now giving food grains at Rs 2 per kg or free. It has a direct impact on rice cultivation. At one time, the staple food of Gujarat was millet. It was 3.44 lakh hectares in 2013, which declined by 50 percent to 1.52 lakh hectares in 2018-19. This year, perhaps 20,000 hectares will be added to it. Sorghum is also deficient by 50 per cent. Corn is falling well. Thus, 10 lakh hectares of paddy has been planted against a total of 15.56 lakh hectares.
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Pulses have a similar tendency. Cultivation of pulses like Tuvar, Maga, Math, Adad is declining. Pulses are found in 4 lakh hectares, while in 5 lakh hectares. This slow but big change is happening. If the government cannot provide good prices to farmers, it will have to import large amounts of foodgrains from Russia or the United States once again. If such changes happen due to the government policy in 5-6 years, it could be a big loss for Gujarat in the long run.