Jalna Village Emerges as Major Seed Producer, Thanks to Shade Net Farming Tackling Water Woes

Jalna Village Emerges as Major Seed Producer, Thanks to Shade Net Farming Tackling Water Woes

Shade net farming involves protecting crops from harsh sunlight as well as weather vagaries like frost, hail, winds etc. These nets are generally made of high density polyethene (HDPE).

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 03:48 PM IST
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Jalna Village Emerges as Major Seed Producer, Thanks to Shade Net Farming Tackling Water Woes |

The shade net technique adopted by farmers in Tupewadi village in Maharashtra's Jalna district has turned it from an area dependent on rain-based crops to a seed producer for agro companies.

Shade net farming involves protecting crops from harsh sunlight as well as weather vagaries like frost, hail, winds etc. These nets are generally made of high density polyethene (HDPE).

The village, in Badnapur tehsil and some 75 kilometres from Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, once grew crops like maize and cotton, which are water dependent and bring about distress when the skies fail to open up, villagers told PTI on Monday.

Shade net farming changes fortune

"Shade net farming has changed the crop pattern here and our fortunes. We produce seeds for agro companies based in nearby Deulgaon Raja and Jalna. Now, some 50 couples from neighbouring Madhya Pradesh have come to work as labourers for six months," villager Pandurang Kopare said.

Seed farming requires a lot of effort but gives fixed income and Tupewadi now has 40 tractors and four excavators, he added.

"The village has 400 shade nets and seed producing companies come with saplings to us in June and in winter every year. The seeds of chilli, tomato, cucumber, musk melon are purchased by the firms, which brings us revenue," farmer Ankush Kadam said.

Despite lack of a major perennial river close by or irrigation project, farming is looking up since seed cultivation is not water intensive and cultivators have made arrangements for drip farming, said Kundalik Kadam, who owns a half acre plot with shade nets.

"Implementation of various government schemes has helped farmers. There are some 450 shade nets here. I don't remember when our village witnessed a farmer suicide last," Tupewadi sarpanch Nabaji Kapre said with pride. 

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