The soil in Shahpur taluk is losing its nutrition due to a large number of paddy growers.
By Archita Chakraborty
Yadgir: The excessive farming of paddy is affecting the black soil of Shahpur taluk and deteriorating its quality.
Superintendent of farming at the research station of college of Agricultural Sciences, Dr Dayanand Sainaad said, “Once a farmer fails to cultivate Paddy, his land is of no use. Farmers cannot grow any other crop on that field again. It affects the black soil and the fertility of soil is goes down.
Excess cultivation of paddy makes the land saline and this is what happened in Shahpur. Standing water in the field increases salt by bringing it up to the surface affecting both plant growth and soil structure. The salt is left behind in the soil after water is absorbed by plants or is evaporated. The Upper-Karnataka irrigation project was designed to supply water from Krishna River to the drought-prone areas including Yadgir.
Yadgir grows paddy as it is a profit earning crop. The excessive irrigation of paddy leaves lesser options for production of other crops. It also results in soil erosion, soil structure breakdown and nutrient loss.
Mr. K.K.Narayana, an agriculture expert said, “Paddy farming needs a lot of water. Standing water in the field decreases space for air encouraging bacteria production. This leads to production of greenhouse gas like methane.”
Professor Dr Kumaraswamy, College of Agricultural Sciences in Bheemranyagudi said, “It is not only paddy which is affecting our soil but also the extreme level of pesticides which are being used by every farmer now-a-days. In some cases they are not even aware of those toxic chemicals that they use on their fields.”
The huge amount of chemical pesticides which have the power of killing insects in agriculture field, also inevitably kills microbial lives in soil which is beneficial to soil ecosystem.
An officer at Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) of Yadgir, Mr Rajendra Kumar, said, “Paddy is one of the top listed crops in India. So our farmers prefer to cultivate that more than Jowar. However, growing paddy cost our farmlands since it reduces the fertility.”
Because of that Jowar cultivation has come down by 50 per cent over the past decade due to this. The total area of paddy field in Yadgir district is 66254 Hectare. According to APMC, farmers earn Rs. 1800 per quintal of paddy.
Ramesh, a farmer from Rastapur village in Shahpur said, “We get good money from one quintal of paddy and that is all we care about. When it is about good money, people will certainly participate in that business. I also cultivate pulses but paddy is more profitable.”