Rains hit Agra region, could salvage bajra crop

Agra, July 19 (IANS) Rains lashed the Agra region of Uttar Pradesh Monday after a long dry spell, reviving hopes of a good bajra crop this kharif season.

Farmers in the region had gone in for early sowing of bajra after the met department forecast good rains in July. But there was only 90 mm of rainfall till Sunday, which damaged the seeds.

The dry spell had hit farmers particularly in Mathura, Firozabad and Hathras districts.

‘The problem was confounded by the reluctance of the government agencies to release canal water,’ said Ravi Singh, a farmer of Barauli Aheer block.

B.B. Barik, principal, Balwant Vidhyapeeth Rural Institute, said the farmers should have waited a little longer before sowing the seeds.

‘They were impressed by early rains due to a cyclonic pressure in western India early July. Then there was a long lull, with temperature shooting up to 38 celsius,’ he told IANS.

Barik said non-availability of quality seeds with ideal germination rate of more than 85 percent added to the problem.

‘Also, this year we have seen an artificial shortage of chemical fertilisers forcing farmers to go for poor quality, spurious fertilisers. Ideally, government agencies should educate farmers to switch over to compost, vermin manure to maintain the fertility of the soil,’ he said.

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