Negotiations are underway between the Centre and the farmers who are staging protests across the country against the three new agricultural laws introduced by the government. A delegation of Sikh farmers recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Kutch.
However, it will be interesting to know that farmers in Gujarat, especially in Kutch, have made a living out of horticulture. Progressive farmers in Kutch district have been cultivating fruits to earn lakhs of rupees, showed annual reports of horticulture in the state.
For decades, these farmers have been cultivating the land provided by the government in Kutch, making it a paradise. Today fruits including dates, mango, pomegranate, dragon fruit, lemon, chiku, coconut, guava, and banana are available in dry land of the Kutch.
Examining the statistics of fruit cultivation and estimated production of the Horticulture Department of the Gujarat government of for the year 2019-20, it was found that fruits were cultivated in 56,761 hectares of land in the district last year. The estimated production was about 9,49,115 metric tones (MT), stated a report quoted on the official website of Director of the Gujarat Horticulture Department.
According to the above stated report, an estimated 9,72,603 MT of fruits have been produced in 22,889 hectares of land in Anand district in the year 2019-20.
Despite the lack of water, Kutch generates a lot in terms of agriculture and it also produces the most fruits in the state.
Estimated production of fruits by district in Gujarat in the year 2019-20
According to the estimated production of fruits in Gujarat last year, mango was planted in an area of 10,475 hectares in Kutch district with an estimated production of 66,421 MT, followed by pomegranate with the highest production and cultivation in the district with a plantation area of 18,750 hectares and an estimated production of 2,94,335 MT.
Kutch's contribution to Gujarat's fruit production
In the year 2019-20, fruits in the state were cultivated at a total area of 4,46,440 hectares with an estimated production of 92,61,066 MT. The contribution of Kutch in this estimated planting and production was first in terms of area and second in terms of production.
What Sikh farmers in Kutch say about new Farm Laws
Jashwinder Singh, a Sikh farmer whose father came to Gujarat in 1964, has been farming on a government-allotted land in Loria village for more than 10 years. According to Singh, the new agricultural laws are in the interest of the farmers, as they will give farmers a uniform price which will render traders and brokers unable to take advantage of the farmer's compulsion and offer lower prices.
Twenty years ago, there was no water and electricity available in Kutch district. However, electricity is now available everywhere in the district and roads have been built in villages that helps in transportation and acts as major advantage to the farmers of Kutch.