Concerned over depleting groundwater and damage to soil due to puddling, the Punjab government is all set to promote direct seeding of rice (DSR) technique among paddy growers of the state.
The DSR technique also cuts down on the expenses of the farmers that go into transplanting of paddy through the traditional puddling technique.
“Let’s acce pt the f act that we cannot stop the cultivation of paddy in Punjab. We tried diversification and even suggested alter native crops, but still there has been very little shift in area from paddy to other crops.
Neither can we ban paddy sowing, as this will hit our rice sellers badly. Perhaps, rice is the only industry that is doing good business,” said Kahan Singh Pannu, agriculture secretary.
During a meeting held recently in Chandigarh, Pannu called upon all district-level agriculture officers to demonstrate the DSR technique to the maximum possible farmers in their respective areas.
Senior officers of the state ag riculture de par tment and PAU, Ludhiana, also attended the meeting. At the meeting, Pannu set a target to bring two-lakh hectare under DSR of the total 27 lakh hectare under paddy.