Tribune News Service
Amritsar, June 6
Rain, which lashed the city early this morning, has come as a boon for farmers as paddy transplantation is scheduled to start from June 10 in the state.
Usually, farmers start irrigating the fields a few days before the start of paddy transplantation. However, rain has somewhat made their work easier.
On the other hand, rain has delayed the direct seeding of rice as tractors would not be able to move in wet fields. A farmer of Chawinda said, “We are facing a huge labour crisis this year. Local labourers are demanding exorbitant rates.” “Local labour is still non-committal as they feel that desperate farmers would be ready to pay high labour charges,” he said.
Chief Agriculture Officer Dr Gurdial Singh Bal said, “Of the total 1.80 lakh hectare area expected under paddy, we target to bring at least half under direct seeding and mechanical transplanting.” The department also planned to bring around 6,000 hectares under maize cultivation.
Dr Bal said farmers going for manual transplantation should first make assessment of available labour. “It might create problems for farmers if they prepare more fields and the labour is not available.”
The Chief Agriculture Officer said farmers, experimenting with direct seeding and mechanical transplantation for the first time, must do so only on a portion of land. “They should learn the technique before implementing it on their entire land,” he said.
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