The Punjab government on Monday announced for farmers subsidies on high-yielding varieties of maize seeds as part if its efforts to boost crop diversification programme in the state. A Punjab government spokesperson said the state in collaboration with Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) has carefully selected three HYV maize seeds varieties, which could give yield of 8.5 tonne per hectare. The state government has given nod to maize seeds varieties of three companies including Monsanto, Pioneer and Shri Ram, which would be made available at subsidised rates to farmers. The state government has decided to give subsidies on these hybrid seeds to farmers as a result of which HYV seeds would be made available at a rate ranging from Rs 87.50 per kg to Rs 112.50 per kg after subsidy. In order to ensure easy availability of these hybrid seeds, the state government has decided to make these seeds available at all the block level offices of the agriculture department from where farmers could easily avail them along with the proper bills. The state government has also directed three shortlisted companies to provide all relevant technical support to farmers for sowing the seeds for better results. HYV maize has been identified as major alternative crop under the ambitious programme of crop diversification in the state. The Punjab government has set a target of sowing maize over an area of five lakh acres during this kharif season.