An early variety of paddy, PR 111, started arriving in the Kotakapura grain market, one of the largest grain markets in the state, on Tuesday and the produce is being bought at more than the minimum support price by the local traders and the rice millers.
Market committee officials say that more than 5,000 quintal of paddy had arrived in the market and the highest rate so far was Rs 1,505 a quintal. The MSP has been fixed at Rs 1,345 per quintal for the superfine varieties and the early variety PR 111 is fetching nearly Rs 100 over the minimum support price.
"I have harvested all my 11 acres of paddy crop of PR 111 variety," said Darshan Singh, a farmer from Chameli village of Faridkot district, who was at the market to sell his produce.
"I am satisfied with the price and have sold some of my produce at Rs 1,421. I also hope to get good yield," says farmer Darshan Singh.
He expects a yield of about 26-28 quintals per acre from his crop.PR 111 is a good variety as matures earlier than most other varieties and requires less matter.
"It is also resistant to most diseases and I have only sprayed two insecticides on it," Darshan Singh claims.
"There is good demand for variety in the market. Over the last two days, the produce has been procured mostly by the local traders and rice millers. A realistic picture will emerge after more produce arrives and then the actual rate will be decided," said Harvinder Singh,a commission agent.
"I also grow PR 111 on most of my fields because it matures early, fetches more than the MRP and matures before government procurement begins," said Amardeep Singh, a farmer from Wara Daraka.
"Most of the variety grown this year is PR 122 and PR 121, which have been released this year. PR 111 has been grown on some area only. Previously, the major area under paddy was the PUSA 44 variety, which is water guzzling and has never been recommended by any agricultural department or university," Arvinder Singh, a farmer from village Wander Jatana.
PR 111 was released in 1994 by Punjab agricultural university Ludhiana and takes about 138 days to mature with an average per acre yield of 27 quintal per acre. It is still popular among the farmers. Some farmers grow it because it because it matures earlier.