The Punjab agriculture department has decided to promote bed plantation technique across the state to save water and check unnecessary use of fertilisers.
As per agriculture department sources, agricultural experts in a report to the state government have pointed out that most of the farmers in the state have been using overdose of fertilisers for bumper yield for over last 15 years, which is damaging the production of better quality food and against eco-friendly cultivation.
The experts observed that efficient input management along with varietal improvement are two basic aspects that could help us achieve the target.
They suggested to the farmers that new resource conservation technology 'FIRBPS' (Furrow Irrigated Raised Bed Planting System) could reduce the water usage by 25-40% without any yield reduction compared to conventional tillage.
Experts from Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Ludhiana, said, "The judicious use of available irrigation water and application of suitable dose of fertiliser in respect to available soil moisture plays important role in minimising the large gap between yield achieved and yield achievable."
Demonstrating bed planting technique with bed planter in the presence of Joyti Bala Mattu, sub-divisional magistrate of Nihal Singh Wala at Punjab government seed farm at Raunta village on Sunday, agriculture development officer (ADO) Jaswinder Singh Brar said by sowing of wheat crop on beds, irrigation water requirements could be reduced up to 35% compared to the conventional flat sowing method, thus saving 35-40% electricity also.
"This technique not only saves resources like water and nutrients and labour, but also facilitates greater diversification of rice-wheat cropping system and improves physical properties of soil. The method has been evolved to economise irrigation water in which raised beds are prepared to accommodate 3-4 rows of wheat between two furrows. The irrigation is done only in furrows," said Brar.
Punjab agriculture minister Jathedar Tota Singh said agricultural research and extension services could concentrate on improving the productivity of small farms, and agriculture would only be sustainable if it was capable of renewing itself by attracting younger farmers to take up a career in farming so that farmer could be able to sustain an economically-viable agriculture.
"To prevent the water table from depleting further, the farmers should adopt new technologies such as bed planting in wheat and other crops, use laser leveler and tensiometer-aided irrigation, ridge planting in cotton and drip irrigation in fruit crops."