Rain likely to give respite to Punjab paddy growers opting for direct seeding
With uninterrupted power supply for farm tubewells yet to be started in Punjab, the forecast of moderate to heavy rainfall in coming two days is likely to give some respite to paddy growers, who have opted for direct seeding of rice (DSR) due to shortage of labour this year.
The meteorological department has predicted more rainfall on Saturday and Sunday. Of the 26.3 lakh hectares to be covered under paddy cultivation this year, the state agriculture department has set the target area under direct seeding of rice at 4 lakh hectares, which is 20% more than that last year. Paddy has already been sown on 1.8 lakh hectares through DSR process in the state.
“More rain in coming days will help farmers who are going for direct seedig method,” said Sutantar Kumar Airi, director, state agriculture department.
Airi said there is no need of puddling and heavy irrigation at the time of sowing under the DSR process, but farmers need to irrigate fields after sowing.
However, the uninterrupted power supply to tubewells for eight hours will be resumed by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) before the start of paddy transplantation (June 10).
The DSR process consumes much less water than the traditional the sowing method. Under DSR, paddy seeds are sown almost like wheat. As per agriculture experts, it requires 50% less water and 90% less labour.