4,400 machines for Punjab growers

Kulwinder Sandhu

Tribune News Service

Moga, June 10

Farmers in Punjab are increasingly showing interest in paddy transplanters and DSR machines (direct seeding of rice) to cut labour cost.

The mass migration of labourers in the wake of Covid has created a shortage of farm labour. It has also increased the cost of manual transplantation, with local labourers demanding higher rates for paddy transplantation. To cut costs, thousands of progressive farmers in the state are opting for DSR machines.

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Till Tuesday, paddy over 25 lakh hectares was sown using DSR machines. We have a target of bringing six lakh hectares under the DSR technology.

Sutantar Kumar Aery, Director, Agriculture Department

Sutantar Kumar Aery, Director, Agriculture Department, while talking to The Tribune, said the state government gave a subsidy of 40 per cent on the purchase of paddy transplanters and DSR machines. “Till Tuesday, paddy over 25 lakh hectares was sown using the DSR machines,” he said, maintaining the department had fixed a target of bringing six lakh hectares under the DSR technology. “We have at least 4,400 such machines in the state,” he said. “This year, 4,000 machines have been purchased by farmers, cooperative societies and the Agriculture Department. Over 400 transplanters were purchased last year, while the number has gone up to 600 this year,” he said.

Dr Jaswinder Singh Brar, plant protection officer, Moga, said transplanting using machines cost around Rs 800 per acre. For manual transplantation, the labour demanded Rs 3,000 to Rs 7,000 per acre, he said.

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