Newly-appointed deputy commissioner Parminder Singh Gill said here on Thursday that the state government is promoting crop diversification to save ground water and encouraging farmers to adopt direct sowing of paddy technique.
"In this effort, the area under paddy would be reduced in coming five years and over 2,050 hectare land is being brought under maize during this year," Gill said.
Gill said that last year maize was cultivated on 800 hectares of land in the district while a target of 2,050 hectare has been set for this year. He said that 300 quintal hybrid seed of maize would be distributed among farmers in the district.
"Seed of three companies Monsanto, Pioneer and Sri Ram had arrived with the block offices of the district, that was provided to farmers on subsidised rates. The Punjab government is providing `20,000 as subsidy on each direct sowing of paddy machine. The farmers or co-operative societies can also purchase the machines through the agriculture department', Gill added.
During a special meeting of the senior officials of the various departments, chief agriculture officer Dr Sukhdev Singh Brar said that the agriculture department has acquired 10 machines for direct paddy plantation to encourage the farmers for direct sowing of paddy.
Gill also appealed to the farmers to avoid the unnecessary use of fertilisers. He said that fields in which DAP was used during the rabi season, there is no need of phosphorus fertiliser during this kharif season. "In this way, the production of the crop increases and money is also saved," Gill said.