Updated: August 1, 2021 8:40:40 am
Punjab has brought 5.62 lakh hectares area under direct seeding of rice (DSR) this year which is highest ever in the state till date and it is an increase of 62,000 hectares from last year’s DSR area. All districts have recorded between 10 per cent to 46 per cent DSR area of total rice cultivation, respectively, except Ludhiana district where only 7.4 per cent area could be brought under DSR.
The acreage estimates for DSR and puddled rice were collected by using satellite data that is collected by Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC), Ludhiana.
PRSC had started collecting data through satellite last year which is based on initial crop and water ponding signatures in agriculture fields.
While rice sowing, mainly Basmati, is still on in the state, but paddy (non-Basmati) sowing was almost over by the second week of the July. PRCS has taken July 11 as cut-off date for recording DSR area, said agri experts. This date was the same last year too.
Experts believe that while Punjab has failed to decrease area under paddy, DSR is still one option to help save ground water as it requires 15 to 25 per cent less irrigation.
DSR saves water as it requires first irrigation after 21 days of the sowing and also it does not need a puddled field, which is again a huge saving of water. In traditional method, the young seedlings are transplanted in water filed water and irrigation is required every third day. Director Punjab Agriculture Department Dr S S Sidhu said that there were some limitations due to cloud/intermittent rains over the state in optical and microwave satellite images. There may be little variation in area under DSR in some of the districts which will be modified/rectified with further monitoring and mapping of crops, he added.
Last year till July 11, DSR area was 5.01 lakh hectares (around 12.38 lakh acres), while this year till July 11, it touched 5.62 lakh hectares (13.88 lakh acres).
Till July 11, Punjab had sown rice (majority of non-basmati area) on 27.29 lakh hectares out of which 5.62 lakh hectares and 21.67 lakh hectares, respectively, was DSR and puddled rice which means DSR occupies only 20.5 per cent area.
Experts said that most of the DSR area should be the non-Basmati rice only because less number of farmers go for DSR in Basmati, which is sown in rainy season when the conducive DSR conditions may not be available to the farmers due to frequent rains.
The satellite data shows that Bathinda, which has brought the highest area under DSR at 47,290 hectares (1.16 lakh acres), is also the district that has brought around 36.5 per cent of the total rice area under DSR.
A total 1.29 lakh hectares area was brought under rice cultivation in the district till July 11 out of which 82,000 hectares was puddled rice area. Bathinda was at number two last year with 43,950 hectares DSR area.
Mukatsar, which was at number one last year with 46,830 hectares DSR area, is at the second number where 45,340 hecatres (1.12 lakh acres) has been brought under DSR of the total 1.25 lakh hectares rice area, which also comes to 36.3 per cent of the total rice area in the district this year.
In Fazilka, DSR area is calculated at 44,002 hectares (1.08 acres) of the total 95,492 hectares rice area which comes to 46 per cent of the total rice area of the district which is actually the highest area percentage wise in any district of the state.Fazilka has recorded an increase of 18,000 hectares under DSR this year against 26,300 hectares last year.
Patiala’s DSR area has been recorded at 34, 240 hectares which is at number four position. Percentage wise it comes to 15 per cent because in Patiala 2.25 lakh hectares area was under rice cultivation till July 11.Ferozepur has brought 34,110 hectares of the total 1.60 lakh hectares, which is 21.3 per cent of the total rice area. In Gurdaspur, 33,290 hectares (20.4 per cent) of the total 1.63 lakh hectares of rice was sown using DSR technique.
In Amritsar, 32,980 hectares is under DSR (18.7 per cent) of total 1,75,460 hectares rice area. Barnala has brought 30,660 hectares under DSR (29.7 per cent) of the total 1.03 lakh hectares, whereas Faridkot has 29790 hectares of DSR area (30.3 per cent) of the total 98,120 hectares.
Sangrur has brought 28,220 hectares (11.8 per cent) of the total 2.38 lakh hectares rice area. Moga has cultivated rice with DSR technique on 27,130 hectares (16 per cent) of the total 1.68 lakh hectares rice area, and Jalandhar has grown 26,120 hectares with DSR (21.4 per cent) out of a total l.48 lakh rice area.
In Kapurthala, 25,960 hectares (29.6 per cent) is under DSR out of the total 96,500 hectares rice area. Tarn Taran district has grown 24,810 hectares with DSR (14.6 per cent), Mansa district has 22,530 hectares (24.8 per cent), Hoshiarpur 21,570 hectares (29 per cent), and Ludhiana has brought 18,070 hectares (7.4 per cent) under DSR.
The figure for Nawanshahr is 10,190 hectares, 19 per cent of district’s total rice area, whereas remaining four districts — Fatehgarh sahib, Rupnagar, Pathankot and Mohali — have brought 8,300 hectares, 7,820 hectares, 5,000 hectares and 4,670 hectares, respectively under DSR.
Punjab Agriculture Department had set a target of bringing one million hectares area under DSR this year but it could meet 56 per cent of the total target.
“Still it is a huge area because this time migrant labourers were available to farmers in plenty with much less labour charges than the last year and despite that we could bring the highest ever area under DSR this year,” said Director SS Sidhu.
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