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Jowar Cultivation in India: Challenges, Opportunities, and Future Prospects

Jowar, also known as Sorghum, is a very important crop that is used both as food and fodder that acts as a backbone of dryland farming.

By Rashi GuptaPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
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Jowar Cultivation in India

Jowar, also known as Sorghum, is a very important crop that is used both as food and fodder that acts as a backbone of dryland farming. It is designated as the "delhi dar," and it is a rabi and kharif season crop. Jowar is a cereal crop of the five major cereals being grown in India. It comes next to barley, corn, rice, and wheat. Originally, its area of fertile farmland was 18 million hectares in the 1950s, but the present coverage is 6.3 million hectares, and the annual production is 6.4 million tonnes.

What is Jowar?

Jowar is a staple food for millions in semi-arid regions, and the population calls it the king of millet. Its principal ingredient is starch, which digests slower than other cereals because it has low protein and fat digestibility.

Furthermore, It can be eaten directly, prepared like a chapati, or boiled to make a food that looks like rice. Such crops can withstand heat and drought, so they're widely grown in many parts of the country.

Where is Jowar Produced in India?

jowar produced in india

Jowar mainly grows on the peninsula and in central India. Maharashtra is the top producer, followed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. These other states also grow Jowar in smaller amounts, mostly for fodder.

Climate Conditions For Jowar Cultivation

Jowar is a tropical crop that thrives in an optimal temperature range of 25°C to 32°C. In contrast, temperatures below 16°C are insufficient for its growth. The minimum amount of rainfall required for better cultivation of Jowar is 400 mm throughout the year.

As a result, this crop is exceptionally resistant to drought and is an ideal choice for areas with low rainfall. The only season conducive to successful Jowar cultivation is the monsoon season. While the Jowar plant can withstand short periods of dry weather, excessive moisture and soil dryness can lead to crop failure.

Soil Requirement for Jowar Farming

Jowar Farming

Jowar can be grown in a variety of soils; however, sandy loam soil that provides good drainage is considered to be the best. To achieve a high garden and grain yield of Jowar, soil having a pH range of 6 to 7.5 will be favourable. The crop field should be correctly plowed straight and level to plant the crop weedlessly. Hindustan Tractor, known for its efficient plowing capabilities, can greatly aid farmers in preparing the land effectively for Jowar cultivation.

Collecting Jowar seeds entails the compilation of several very important factors. The field should be ploughed 1-2 further times with two crosswise harrowing carried out to form an ideal seedbed before sowing Jowar. The field should not only be well-drained, but waterlogging is a bad condition for the high production of Jowar.

Irrigation Requirement in Jowar Farming

The irrigation method varies depending on the climate where the crop is sown. If seeds are planted in the monsoon season, which is July, then one to three irrigations are enough. However, because of the high temperature, six to seven irrigations are needed in the summer season. The southern region rabi crop needs four to five irrigations. For instance, Escorts Tractor, a leading agricultural machinery manufacturer, provides efficient irrigation solutions tailored to these diverse climatic requirements.

Weed Control for Jowar Farming

Manual weeding and hoeing, a power weeder, or hand weeding can tackle the weed issue. Atrazine and Propazine can also be used for weed control during the rainy season. However, the herbicides must be applied before any Jowar seedlings take off.

When millet is grown, beneficial and disease-carrying insects are abundant. Due to its increased vulnerability to disease and pests, crop protection has become a major requirement for jowar cultivation. Insects and pests such as dearfly, stem borer, and sorghum midge pose significant threats to jowar crops.

Diseases like sooty stripe, leaf spot, and anthracnose, all of fungal origin, also severely affect jowar crops. However, these pests and diseases can be controlled by implementing the following measures:

- Spraying leaves with carbaryl or lindane to combat stem borers.

- Endosulfan or lindane can be used as a long-lasting spray for midges.

- Treating seeds with disulfoton or carbofuran to deter flies.

- Dithane-based spray is applied to combat downy mildew.

In addition to these measures, farmers can resort to traditional solutions to address diseases and pests effectively.

Ripening and Threshing in Jowar Cultivation

The maturity of various jowar varieties varies. In coastal areas, where cyclone rains are prevalent in March and April, harvesting should occur prematurely (between 105 and 110 days) to avoid crop loss. After harvesting, panicles are sundried for seven days, followed by either manual or mechanical threshing to separate the grains.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a variety of challenges and opportunities associated with the growth of Jowar in India. In dry and semi-arid regions, jowar farming is still essential despite obstacles, including pests, inconsistent rain, and a lack of equipment. There is a great deal of potential to expand Jowar cultivation, boost farmer incomes, and ensure food safety by putting new agricultural techniques into practice, making modern technology accessible, and implementing effective government policies.

For instance, companies like Captain Tractor, a prominent agricultural machinery manufacturer, play a significant role in providing solutions tailored to the needs of Jowar farmers. To overcome challenges and realize the full potential of Jowar cultivation across India, collaboration among farmers, academics, policymakers, and other agricultural stakeholders is necessary.

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  • Rashi2 months ago

    nice blog

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