Punjab Aims To Bring Ten Lakh Hectares Under Basmati

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Ten Lakh Hectares Under Basmati
Ten Lakh Hectares Under Basmati

In a bid to wean away state farmers from water-guzzling paddy, Punjab Chief Minister S. Bhagwant Singh Mann led Punjab Government is all set to enhance the area under Basmati crop by around 67 per cent in the current sowing season, said Punjab Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister S. Gurmeet Singh Khudian here on Wednesday.

The Minister, who was chairing a review meeting with the department officials here at his office, said that around ten lakh hectares area will be brought under the aromatic crop in 2024-25, which was 5.96 lakh hectares last year.

Taking cognisance of favourable results of Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) technique, S. Gurmeet Singh Khudian also directed the department officials to pull up their socks to increase the area under the DSR. “To encourage maximum farmers to adopt DSR technique, Punjab Government has been providing Rs 1500 per acre financial aid to them,” he said.

He further informed that the department has planned to bring 2 lakh hectares of paddy (non-basmati) under this technique during the ongoing sowing season, which was 1.70 lakh hectares last year.

The Agriculture Minister also reviewed the progress of Biofertilizer Testing Labs being set up at Gurdaspur, Bathinda and SAS Nagar (Mohali) to ensure the quality of biofertilizers.

Special Chief Secretary (Development) Mr KAP Sinha apprised the Cabinet Minister that Rs 80 lakh has already been earmarked for Gurdaspur lab and equipment would be purchased soon.

The Agriculture Minister also asked the department officials to ensure the good quality agri-inputs available to the farmers by taking samples of seeds, fertilisers, and pesticides frequently. Anyone found indulged in malpractice will not be spared, he warned.

Director Agriculture Jaswant Singh apprised the minister that this is for the first time that around Rs 2 crore has been earmarked to procure Pheromone Traps to save cotton crop from pests.

Joint Director (Statistics) Harpreet Kaur, Joint Director (E&T) Dilbagh Singh, Joint Director (Inputs) Gurjeet Singh Brar and other officials of the department were also present in the meeting.

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