The just ended 2017-18 financial year turned out to be a buoyant period for the farming sector as the acreage under agriculture crops in the district has seen a substantial increase vis-a-vis 2016-17 fiscal year.
The data accessed by The Hindu indicated that the total acreage of agriculture crops stood at 1,00,287 hectares for 2017-18 financial year, an increase of 17,076 hectares when compared to the previous financial year.
During 2015-16, the crop acreage in the district stood at 97,971 ha.
“The reason for substantial increase in the crop acreage during 2017-18 can be attributed to various factors. The average rainfall stood at a healthy 683.63 mm in the district in 2017 calendar year in which majority was received during the months falling under 2017-18 fiscal year. Besides, 2017-18 also saw good amount of water getting released through canal irrigation systems at appropriate periods after the catchment areas falling in Kerala experienced satisfactory monsoon spells”, said Joint Director of Agriculture Mohamed Iqbal.
The farmers’ willingness to adopt innovative cultivation technologies accepting the suggestion of agriculture department officials too said to have contributed to expansion in acreage.
A crop-wise analysis of 2017-18 acreage performance shows that paddy cultivation had gone up to 7,598 ha from a worryingly low 1,765 ha in 2016-17 fiscal year.
Similarly, area under each of the pulses varieties like black gram, green gram, cow pea, Bengal gram and horse gram had grown, which according to the agriculture department officials, was an encouraging sign to ensure food security.