Water scarcity: Gurgaon admn tests new wheat, barley seeds

GURGAON: The district administration is experimenting with herbal hydrogel seeds to solve the problems of water scarcity and lack of irrigation infrastructure.

editorial@tribune.com

Sumedha Sharma

Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, February 4

The district administration is experimenting with herbal hydrogel seeds to solve the problems of water scarcity and lack of irrigation infrastructure.

The hydrogel seeds of wheat and barley, which require around 60 per cent less water than usual ones, have been sown on a pilot basis in Dabodi, Tripadi, Machana and Jatola villages.

“In south Haryana, especially in our area, water scarcity plagues agriculture. The majority of farmers feel the irrigation infrastructure in insufficient to meet their needs. The ever-depleting water table is making installation of tubewells and submersible pumps a failed and costly affair,” Deputy Commissioner (DC) TL Satyaprakash said.

He added, “New seeds developed by a research centre would not only cut down the need for water, but also eradicate the problem of weeds and, hence, the need for weedicides,” said Deputy Commissioner (DC) TL Satyaprakash.

The special seeds of wheat varieties — WS 283, WS 711, SD 296 and WH 1105 — and of barley, 393, have been quoted with special gel derived from Tragacanth gum (gond katira).

“Irrigation is vital during the stage of critical root initiation. Farmers who have used the new seeds said they delayed irrigating the fields by 18 days. The seeds have been designed to deal with water scarcity. Another advantage is the seeds inhibit the growth of weeds, saving farmer from buying weedicides,” said PS Sabarwal, Deputy Director, Agriculture.

The seeds are being tested for sudden climatic changes that caused major crop loss last year, allegedly forcing some farmers to commit suicide.

“The gel coating is expected to make the seeds immune to sudden increase or decrease in water content of soil,” Sabarwal added.

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