Weeds a leading cause of damage to crops
Weeds, insects and diseases are the three main biological factors for losing crop yield and causing economic loss to farmers.
As per data of the Agriculture Ministry, India had lost agricultural produce worth over $10,000 million - (Rs 6424,00000000) more than the Centre's budgetary allocation for agriculture for 2017-18 - between 2003 and 2014 to weeds in 10 major crops in different districts of 18 States. This means agriculture crops worth over $ 910 million (Rs 9090909090909) loses annually due to weeds across the country. The Jabalpur-based Directorate of Weed Research (DWR), estimated the economic losses using data generated by an all India co-ordinated research project (AICRP) on weed management, which carried out 1,580 on-farm research trials on 10 major crops at different locations in 18 States over a decade.
The NITI Ayog had also revealed in its paper on "Raising Agricultural Productivity and Making Farming Remunerative for Farmers," that crops yield losses in India due to pests, which include all biotic stresses such as weeds, insect-pests, diseases, nematodes and rodents, range from 15 to 25 percent depending on the source of estimates. In monetary terms, the figure ranges from 0.9 to 1.4 lakh crore rupees annually.
Weeds do enormous damage to the wheat, rice, groundnut and soyabean crops. They directly deplete the soil nutrients and moisture and compete with crop plants for light and space thus, reduce the crop yields. Indirectly, they cause damage to the crops harbouring pests and disease agents.
In a reply pertaining to 10 major crops suffer huge economic losses due to weeds every year in the country, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has said that weeds lead to the loses of agricultural produces worth over $ 10k million every year.
"The economic losses due to weeds along in 10 major crops of India were highest in rice, followed by wheat and soyabean. Weeds are responsible for decreasing the production of most important food and cash crops by 13.2 percent," Shekhawat has said in the reply.
At $4.42 billion, the actual economic losses due to weeds were found to be highest in rice.
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