The district administration has claimed that with the efforts of the agriculture department, farmers have been motivated to cultivate basmati, maize, pulses, sugarcane and horticulture crops instead of traditional paddy this year.
As per deputy commissioner Kumar Rahul, the Punjab government's initiative to reduce area under paddy and motivate farmers to go for crop diversification have started giving results.
"The government has formulated a plan to shift 28 lakh hectare of land from paddy to other crops in the next five years by offering subsidies to farmers for diversifying from traditional wheat-paddy cycle to other crops," said the DC.
Presenting figures, he said nearly 11,000 hectares have been taken away from traditional paddy, while 4,000 hectares have been brought under basmati.
He said the agriculture department has already achieved target under maize cultivation, as the area has been increased to 1,500 hectares from 200 hectares last year.
Rahul said farmers were provided with 75% subsidy on maize seeds in order to promote its cultivation.
"Awareness camps have been organised to motivate farmers to go for agriculture diversification besides audio CDs were distributed to motivate them for growing crops, which consume comparatively less amount of water," the DC said.
Chief agriculture officer Rajinder Singh Sohi said hybrid seeds were given to farmers and 90 quintals per hectare maize production is expected. Per hectare production of maize will be more than that of paddy and it will save water up to 40%, he added.