Farmers in Punjab to plant around 25% paddy with DSR technology

Editor Water Today

2 min read

The farmers ​in Punjab are ​expected to ​plant around 25%​ of the total ​area under ​paddy crop ​through ​direct seeding of rice (DSR) ​technology this ​khairf season, ​moving away ​from the ​traditional ​practice of ​sowing nursery ​and then ​transplanting ​it. The key ​reason behind ​the shift is ​attributed to ​labour shortage.​

The DSR ​technology, ​recommended in ​Punjab as an ​alternative ​method of rice ​planting, is ​expected to ​save irrigation ​water, labour ​and energy (​power) in ​contrast to the ​conventional ​method of ​raising rice ​nursery and ​then transplanting ​the seedlings ​in a puddled ​field. ​

“Nearly ​25% of the area ​under paddy ​sowing is ​expected to ​come under this ​innovative ​technology ​which will help ​slash ​cultivation ​cost in terms ​of both labour ​and water,​” said K.​S. Pannu, ​Agriculture ​Secretary. ​

“To ​promote this ​technology and ​motivate the ​farmers to ​adopt it in a ​big way, the ​Agriculture ​department ​sanctioned 4,​000 DSR ​machines and ​800 paddy ​transplanting ​machines to ​farmers on ​subsidy ranging ​from 40% to 50%,​” he said.​

Mr. Pannu ​said earlier ​the department ​was expecting ​to bring around ​5 lakh hectares ​under the ​technique but ​given the ​labour shortage ​and interest ​shown by ​farmers to ​adopt the ​advanced ​technology, it ​will be 6-7 ​lakh hectares. ​

“The ​technique would ​be instrumental ​in saving about ​30% of water, ​besides cutting ​the cost of ​paddy ​cultivation by ​nearly ₹6,000 ​per acre. As ​per reports and ​research of the ​Punjab ​Agriculture ​University ​experts, the ​yield of paddy ​from the DSR is ​at par with the ​conventional ​technique,​” he said.​

Punjab is ​likely to see ​paddy ​cultivation in ​around 27 lakh ​hectares this ​season, ​including 7 ​lakh hectares ​under the ​aromatic, long-​grain basmati ​variety. ​

“Paddy ​transplantation ​is the only ​farm operation ​which is labour ​intensive and ​due to shortage ​of labour this ​year caused by ​the pandemic, ​the Agriculture ​department has ​advised the ​farmers to take ​the DSR,” ​said Mr. Pannu. ​