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Asia 14/12/2023

India: Jalpaiguri farmers embrace maize over potatoes

Jalpaiguri: Farmers in Jalpaiguri district are making a significant shift towards maize cultivation, a move actively supported by the state Agriculture department, which provides high-quality maize seeds, fertilisers and pesticides.

Recently, the Jalpaiguri district Agriculture department distributed corn seeds to farmers in the Dhupguri Block of Jalpaiguri district.

Traditionally, after paddy cultivation, many farmers in Jalpaiguri turn to potato cultivation on the same land. However, in recent years, some farmers have encountered substantial financial losses due to unpredictable weather patterns and difficulties in obtaining high-quality potato seeds. Consequently, farmers have been encouraged to explore alternative crops, with maize cultivation gaining momentum in recent years.

According to the Jalpaiguri district Agriculture department, maize cultivation in the district has been increasing each year. In the 2021-22 season, 13,100 hectares of land were dedicated to maize cultivation. This figure increased to 14,050 hectares in the 2022-23 season, producing 62,500 metric tons of maize. The department reports a yield of 52 to 55 quintals of maize per hectare in the district. Santosh Sarkar and Usharani Baidya, farmers from the Gadheyarkuti area of Dhupguri Block, mentioned that they used to grow potatoes in the past. However, the high cost and the risk of financial loss associated with potato cultivation led them to switch to maize cultivation. They have found that the cost of maize cultivation is lower, and with government support, they have a stable market. Consequently, they have been cultivating corn for the past two years.

Fuente: https://www.millenniumpost.in/bengal/jalpaiguri-farmers-embrace-maize-over-potatoes-542802


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