Sanjeev Mane, an award-winning farmer from Maharashtra, has claimed that it was possible to grow 150 tonnes of sugarcane on an acre of land.
Participating in a workshop organised by Karnataka Sugarcane Farmers Association in Mysuru on Tuesday, Mr. Mane said farmers substantially increase their sugarcane yield by adopting scientific techniques for improving soil fertility, irrigation and plantation, besides taking necessary steps to protect their crop from animal menace.
He told the gathering of farmers that he too was growing barely 20 tonnes an acre earlier. But, with scientific advice on improving soil fertility, adopting the right practices for irrigation and making changes during plantation, he was able to not only increase the yield substantially, but also grow about 167 tonnes an acre, he claimed.
The U.S. had taken note of his achievement and the former President Barack Obama had extended to him an invitation to the visit the country. “I was invited to the U.S. during 2013 and was felicitated”, said Mr. Mane, who had achieved success as a farmer by reforming his agricultural practices.
Mr. Mane, a farmer from Sangli in Maharashtra, is a recipient of several awards including the Krushibhushan award given by the Government of Maharashtra.
Speaking on the occasion, President of Karnataka Sugarcane Farmers’ Association Kurubur Shanthakumar claimed that the sugarcane farmers in the State, who were not receiving remunerative prices for their produce, should adopt the right agricultural techniques to improve their productivity.
He also criticised the State Government’s decision to reduce the subsidy for drip irrigation from 90 per cent to 45 per cent for farmers owning more than two acres of land. Claiming that drip irrigation helps conserve water, improves soil fertility and reduces cost of cultivation, Mr Shanthakumar urged the State Government to restore the subsidy to 90 per cent to all farmers.
He also urged the State Government to review the rules that had made it mandatory for ethanol production units to mandatorily secure permission from sugar factories within 15 kms of its radius. By doing away with the rule, sugarcane farmers can expect competitive prices, he claimed.
More than 200 farmers from Mysuru, Mandya and Chamarajanagar participated in the two-hour-long workshop held in Mysuru on Tuesday.