Promotion of sesamum cultivation for crop diversification in punjab

Avneetkaur and D.K Grover

Owing to remunerative prices coupled with assured procurement of paddy- wheat, the well diversified character of Punjab agriculture turned into monoculture of these two crops only at the cost of other crops including oilseeds over the decades. To promote the various minor crops for diversification especially for taking acreage away from paddy the water guzzling crop, sesamum could be considered as one of the alternate crops in the state. The present study based on primary data pertaining to the year 2017-18 collected from 60 farmers from major sesamum growing districts of Punjab, has brought out that the uses of physical inputs in terms of fertilizers and irrigation was much less as compare to paddy, indicating that sesamum is less input intensive and more environmental friendly crop. Total variable cost of cultivation in case of sesamum was much lower (Rs.5530 acre-1) in comparison to (Rs.17763 acre-1) for paddy. The corresponding gross returns have been estimated as Rs.17644 acre-1 and Rs.49226 acre-1. Though, sesamum cultivation yields relatively lower absolute returns, yet the benefit-cost ratios were found much higher in case of sesamum cultivation 3.19 as compared to 2.77 in case of paddy cultivation. In order to promote sesamum cultivation in the state on a larger scale, the various biotic and abiotic constraints to be taken care of, were more incidences of disease, insect/pest, weeds, lack of quality seeds/high yielding variety of seeds, lack of price information and price variability etc.

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