With the paddy season round the corner, farmers have started visiting Ludhiana railway station to find labourers for sowing paddy. As per the state government's norms, paddy sowing will start from June 10.
Farmers from rural areas of the district can be seen looking-out for labourers at the railway station, which has become a hub for migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar looking for work.
Last year the farmers had faced an acute shortage of workers during the paddy season in rural areas.
One such farmer from Kheri village Balwant Singh was finding workers at the railway station. He said, "I have come here to find labourers, especially migrants from UP and Bihar for my farms."
Balwant adds, "Last year, I faced an acute shortage of labourers. As the paddy season begins from June 10, I have finished all preparations, but still have to find the required work force."
Manu, a farmer from Ladhian village, claims, "There is a scarcity of labourers in the village as compared to last year. Labourers, back in the village are demanding more money due to shortage of work force."
While last year labourers were charging Rs 1,800-2,000 per acre, this year they are demanding Rs 2,200-2,500 per acre to sow the crop during paddy season. Besides, adequate work force, work will also depend on the power supply to fields.
Dr Gursahib Singh Manes, a senior research engineer-cum-head of the farm machinery and power engineering department at PAU, says machines are also available at PAU. Manes adds, "While some farmers have their own machines, many borrow them. The charges of sowing the crop depend upon its requirement during paddy season.
He also says that shortage of labour occurs as a majority of labourers come to find work after June 10.
Earlier on May 29, chief engineer of PSPCL (central) KL Sharma had assured promised eight hours, uninterrupted power supply to farmers during paddy season.