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Direct sowing of paddy begins on over 10,000 acres

Though paddy cannot be sown in fields before June 10 as per the conditions of the Punjab Preservation of Sub Soil Water Act 2009,but ‘direct seeding methodology’ began in the state on Thursday.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar | Published: June 2, 2012 12:41:38 am

Though paddy cannot be sown in fields before June 10 as per the conditions of the Punjab Preservation of Sub Soil Water Act 2009,but ‘direct seeding methodology’ began in the state (10 days in advance to paddy cultivation through its nursery) on Thursday. Like traditional sowing of paddy,direct sowing of paddy does not require a nursery,labour or puddling of fields before sowing.

The methodology has received a good response from farmers and paddy will be sown in approximately 10,000-acre land through direct method in the state this year.

In districts like Patiala and Ropar,around 2,000-acres of land (1,000 each) is being brought under direct paddy cultivation.

“Farmers have been receiving a good result with direct sowing and we will like to increase area under cultivation every year,” said Patiala Chief Agriculture Officer Dr Balwinder Singh Sohal,who is among the pioneers of advocating the methodology among state farmers.

He added that the method neither decreases yield,nor quality of grain and provides better yield results,water saving,soil protection and water recharging. “Nearly 140 per cent ground water is saved,as it requires 40 per cent less water as compared to the traditional method.

We have already proved that paddy is not a fish,which can only survive in water,but an amphibian,which can spend part of it’s life on land and in water,”

Sohal said. The method does not require labour to transplant paddy,as a result cultivation cost is saved by Rs 5,000 per hectare.

Dr Naresh Gulati,deputy director,Agriculture Technological Management Agency (ATMA),informed that direct seeding had the additional environmental benefit of reducing emission of greenhouse gases such as methane,apart from improving soil porosity,which can increase productivity of the succeeding crop.

Ropar chief agriculture officer Dr Lakhwinder Singh Hundal the method only required seed in place of plant and the method required early cultivation,around 20 days before the traditional method cultivation.

In order to popularise the method,Punjab State Co-operative Supply and Marketing Federation (Markfed) has been promoting direct seeded rice (DSR) in Punjab to save water through the practice and PAU has also recommended the technology.

The DSR project was initiated on approximately 500-acre land in Punjab,but it could be expanded to 20,000-acre land in the next three to five years.

Started in 2006,by Pepsico India,the direct seeding method was carried out in the fields of 12 farmers,covering nearly 20-acre land.

Proposed paddy,cotton
MSP hike a ‘cruel joke’: SAD

CHANDIGARH: Shiromani Akali Dal on Friday rejected the

Rs 170 per quintal proposed hike in Minimum Support Price (MSP) of paddy and Rs 800 of cotton suggested by the cabinet,describing it as a ‘cruel joke’ with the farming community that had already been reeling under ever mounting debt. Party president Sukhbir Singh Badal also criticised the Congress-led UPA for miscalculating the input cost incurred by farmers to fix MSP.

The Union Agriculture Ministry had circulated a cabinet note among various ministries recommending an MSP of Rs 1,250 per quintal for common variety paddy and Rs 1,280 per quintal for ‘A’ grade variety for 2012-13 as against paddy MSP of common and ‘A’ grade varieties at Rs 1,080 and Rs 1,110 per quintal,respectively,for 2011-12. “Nothing less than a 50 per cent hike in last year’s MSP will be acceptable. By proposing an MSP hike of only 15 per cent they are deliberately making the farming community poorer,“ Sukhbir said.

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