Patiala, November 18
In the wake of a growing number of farm fires in the state, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, maintained that phasing out paddy is not a viable option and emphasised on banning long-duration varieties.
Experts at the PAU highlighted potential benefits of segregation of sowing, reducing stress on underground water extraction and effective management of paddy stubble with the use of short-duration varieties.
The biggest challenge is maturing and harvesting of paddy crop at the same time across the state, thus leaving farmers and the government with a narrow window to manage a huge quantity of residue.
Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice Chancellor, PAU, suggested to focus on promoting short-duration varieties, which can be harvested in the beginning of October. Besides such varieties would offer farmers and the government agencies ample time to manage crop residue, he said.
“We have given some suggestions to the government on encouraging short-duration varities. To overcome crisis, long-duration varieties should be phased out,” said Gosal.
“Despite flooding, farmers managed to get a bumper crop, thanks to short-duration variety PR 126,” he said.
GS Buttar, Director Extension, PAU, said the government had taken a step in this direction and banned sale of ‘PUSA 44’ and ‘Peeli PUSA’.
He said, “Paddy can’t be phased out as long as we do not have a viable alternative kharif crop, which provides sustainable returns.”
Buttar added that shifting from paddy to other crops would not be a wise move. “It will discourage investors who are buying stubble management machinery and setting up infrastructure in the state to manage crop residue,” he said.
Dr Sukhpal Singh, chairman, Punjab State Farmers’ Commission, said, the Centre should assure minimum support price for alternative kharif crops.
We should focus on promoting varieties, which can be harvested in October. Despite flooding, farmers managed to get a bumper crop, thanks to short-duration variety PR 126. — Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, vice chancellor, PAU
Paddy can’t be phased out as long as we do not have a viable alternative kharif crop. It will discourage investors who are setting up infrastructure to manage crop residue. — GS Buttar, director extension, PAU
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
Victory of self-reliant India, honest, good governance: PM Modi on BJP’s win in 3 state Assembly polls
Prime Minister says people tried to divide the country on ca...
Election Results 2023 LIVE updates: BJP set to form govt in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh; Congress to bag Telangana
While the saffron party retained Madhya Pradesh with a proje...
BJP leading in 149 of 230 seats, Congress in 59
Saffron party crosses halfway mark, wins 100 seats
Counting of votes in elections to 90-member Assembly began a...