Government and farmers’ claim: DSR saves water as well as money
This year, Direct Sowing of Rice (DSR) was kicked off from Satoj, the village of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. On Sunday, farmers from Satoj village committed to save Punjab’s water by adopting direct seeding of rice. On this occasion, Agriculture Department officials and CM Mann’s mother Harpal Kaur were also present.
While visiting his native town Satoj a few days ago, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann urged farmers to adopt direct seeding of paddy this year. CM Mann had appealed to the people of his village, “I want the people of my village to start saving Punjab’s water.” It will set a positive example throughout Punjab, as if the farmers in CM Mann’s village try to save Punjab’s valuable ground water, the rest of the farmers will follow suit. He claimed that if this effort began in our village, the entire Punjab would rally to save water. The Chief Minister has announced, farmers who sow paddy directly will receive Rs. 1500 incentive and MSP for Moong and Basmati, as well as a guarantee from the Punjab government to purchase these crops.
Punjab’s main agricultural crops are wheat and paddy. Farmers, generally, sow paddy by flooding their fields with water, which has resulted in a reduction in ground water levels in Punjab. Punjab’s average groundwater level has dropped to 170 feet. In order to conserve groundwater, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is urging farmers to plant alternate crops or paddy in a way that uses less water.
Agriculture department officials and farmers explained benefits…..
With direct sowing machine, which runs on dry field, there is no need to flood the field for paddy seeding. After sowing, field needs water after 21 days. In traditional method, where fields are needed to be flooded before cultivation, water consumption is too high that Punjab cannot afford it anymore.
Farmers in Satoj said that it is a matter of tremendous pride for them that a campaign to safeguard Punjab’s water is being launched from their village. Farmers claimed they are planting straight paddy this year at the request of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. Farmers stated that they, too, are concerned about water and want to save it. Some of them had also tried direct sowing before too and the yield was good. According to farmers, direct sowing is said to affect yield, although this is not the case. Sowing using innovative technology saves both water and money. People who rent out/lease their land have also said that if a farmer sows paddy directly in the field, they will be charged Rs. 1500 per acre less.
Dr Jaswinder Pal Singh Grewal, an officer of the Agriculture Department, present on the occasion, said that nodal officers have been appointed all over Punjab for direct seeding of paddy. They are informing the farmers about its methods and benefits. The last season paddy was sown directly in 6 lakh hectares across Punjab. This time the government aims to increase it to 12 lakh hectares. Referring to the problem of rats, he said that their department is ready to tackle that problem too. Required rodenticides will be given to the farmers to avoid any kind of damage.
While inspiring the farmers, Harpal Kaur, mother of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, remarked, “We lived our life, but in future our children will question us about ground water level. That is why the Punjab government has embraced this direct seeding technique. The Punjab government and farmers of Punjab have taken an excellent endeavour to conserve water. This will conserve water while simultaneously preserving Punjab’s agriculture. We truly appreciate everyone in our village for supporting the administration during this drive.”
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