To encourage farmers to diversify from paddy to other crops, a special training camp was organised in Rasidpur village of Khera block in the district on Wednesday.
While addressing progressive farmers, chief agriculture officer Dr Jasbir Singh Bains suggested that since buffer stock of wheat and paddy was sufficient to meet the exigencies due to natural calamities, there was a need to shift some areas from paddy to maize, sugarcane, pulses and oil seed crops.
He said two new varieties of rice, i.e. PR121 and PR122, and two varieties of basmati, i.e. Basmati-3 and Pusa Punjab basmati 1509, have been released by PAU for cultivation. The seed of these varieties will be distributed to farmers in the Kissan Mela to be held on March 15 and 16 at Ludhiana.
Last year, 435 hectare area was brought under maize cultivation and this year the target is to bring 450 hectare under the crop. As far moong cultivation is concerned, last year 50 hectare area was under it and 90 quintals moong seed, SML 668, was given at 50% subsidy to farmers.
The officer also spoke about the subsidy schemes run by the department of agriculture.
Dr Ranjit Singh of agriculture department suggested the farmers to adopt new policies and methodology for the cultivation of different crops. They educated farmers to prepare their own seed of wheat crop to minimise the cost of cultivation. Dr Satish Kumar told them about the importance of soil testing to know about the status of nutrients of the soil. Dr Mandeep Kaur and Dr Sukhjit Kaur also expressed their views.