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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Crop diversification adds to troubles of Malwa farmers

HT Correspondent  Bathinda, July 15, 2014
First Published: 01:38 IST(15/7/2014) | Last Updated: 01:39 IST(15/7/2014)

Diversification of crops has added to the troubles of farmers in Malwa region during this rain-deficient period.

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Since both cotton and paddy crops need large amount of water during the sowing season, farmers have to choose between these two.

Usually, majority of farmers in the region sow both cotton and paddy. While farmers are finding it difficult to arrange water to feed the paddy saplings, cotton plants are also in an urgent need of water.

“If it were normal monsoon, then cotton plants would have got sufficient water. But now there is an urgent need to irrigate the crop. Besides, farmers cannot afford to skip irrigating the paddy fields,” said Beant Singh, chief agricultureofficer, Muktsar.

“It is really a difficult time for the farmers. The irrigation department has also cut the supply of water. There is also power shortage and farmers are not getting eight-hour power supply and hence there is shortage of water to feed both crops,” he said.

“We have advised the farmers to irrigate the cotton crop. It would directly affect the growth of plants,” said Beant Singh.

Farmers are excessively using fertilisers to keep the paddy plants alive. They are digging deep the earth to get water for tubewells.

The biggest impact will be on farmers as their input cost will increase manifold.

The spending on fertilisers will increase by Rs. 150 to 200 per acre besides the cost of diesel. It would cost around Rs. 600 per acre a day if the government supplies power for five hours.

The total spending on diesel may increase from Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 3000 per acre this season.

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