Ruchika M Khanna
Chandigarh, June 6
The state government has extended the deadline for farmers to opt for Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) to June 30 after its ambitious plan to bring 12 lakh hectares under the water-saving technique has come a cropper.
Official sources say that of the targeted 12 lakh hectares, only 72,000 hectares have been brought under the DSR. With paddy transplantation set to begin on June 14, it is impossible to meet the DSR target.
Problem of excessive weeds
Farmers faced problem of excessive weeds when they opted for the DSR last year, leading to a fall in yield. This year, farmers have already suffered losses because of drop in wheat yield. Gurbakshish Singh, Nabha farmer
The earlier deadline to choose the DSR was May 31. Given the poor response, the government has now decided to extend the deadline. Farmers, however, are not enthused.
“Last year, many opted for the DSR as there was a severe labour shortage because of the Covid pandemic. This year as well, farmers would have gone for the DSR had water for irrigation been available on time. There were frequent outages during the sowing period and we got just three hours of supply to operate tubewells,” Labh Singh of Faridkot’s Rori Kapura village told The Tribune.
With the Sirhind feeder canal developing a breach, water for irrigation was not available for almost 20 days.
In Nabha, Gurbakshish Singh said several farmers faced problem of excessive weeds when they opted for the DSR last year. “The weedicide spraying techniques in directly sown rice were not effective. Excessive weed led to a fall in yield. This year, farmers have already suffered losses because of drop in wheat yield. They don’t want to take the risk with the next crop,” he said.
CM Bhagwant Mann has been promoting the DSR technique to prevent the further depletion of groundwater.
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