Punjab

15 percent of the total area of paddy goes under DSR in Faridkot, some farmers go experimental way first time, area expected to add up next season

Raghbir Singh Brar | June 29, 2020 06:49 PM

Faridkot: Apprehending the shortage of labour, some of the farmers opted for the Direct Sowing of Rice(DSR) in 2020 after years of gap when the farmers took initiative in this regard but the problems of weeds nearly stalled the next steps of increase of area under this technique.

Sivian village was a pioneer to apply this technique in 2011-12 and it covered nearly 400 acres in the village in 2014.

But this season, Hardialeana village of the district has covered considerable area under DSR, nearly 1300 acres of area has gone under DSR in the village.

  

“The total area under DSR is nearly 15000 hectares(about 37500 acres) out of 1 lakh hectare area under paddy this season. It makes about 15 per cent and we are encouraged that the farmers have opted for this technique. The farmers have managed to sow the crop timely by using this technique during the unusual situation of Covid-19. It has also helped them save nearly Rs 4000 -4500 per acre, the cost of labour and puddling,” said Dr Harnek Singh Rode, chief agriculture officer Faridkot.

About Hardialeana, he said big land holding also ensures that the farmers adopt new techniques.

“Last year, I had brough 4 acres under DSR, but this year, I have opted to sow all the paddy on my 10 acres of land by DSR. I spent only Rs 500 on its sowing because I had to hire a paddy sowing drill for this purpose. In our village and adjoining villages, some of the farmers experimented the technique last year and results were very encouraging,” said Jaswinder Singh from village Ghania, near Bajakhana.

In village Bir Sikhan wala,nearly 125 acres of Paddy has been sown by applying this technique. The village has about 350 acres of total cultivation of paddy, making about 50 percent.

“Some years ago, we had started sowing paddy by DSR technique on nearly 50 acres of land and bought our own paddy seed drill, but the problem of weeds discouraged us then. We dropped the sowing paddy by DSR way because migrant labour started arriving in the state and the problem of weeds was there. This year, I have sown paddy by using DSR technique on my 22 acres of land and the crop stands in very good condition,” said Lakhvir Singh Brar, a farmer from village Bir Sikhan Wala.

“In my village, many farmers have sown paddy by using DSR technique and some of them on an experimental basis. The results are good and the area under DSR would increase from next year,” said Pappu, a farmer from village Panjgrain kalan.

“This year, the farmers had to face many problems and most of them were inexperienced. The shortage of machines and first hand experience were there. However, the farmers have gone ahead with this technique and gained some personal experiences and tried to manage to solve the problems faced by them in fields. The depth or shallowness of the sowing, moisture content in soil post irrigation, type of soil, problems of rats have been major problems the farmers faced in the fields. Two acres of my Basmati crop sown by DSR was spoiled by rats,” said Sukhjinder Singh, a farmer from village Niamiwala.

“Some of the farmers also sown the paddy by DSR in dry soil and then irrigated the crop to see the results,” he said.

The shortage of seeds has also been a problem this paddy season because farmers required more seed for DSR than sowing nursery. Even some of the farmers tried to raise the nursery as well to ensure that if the DSR fails, they could have the paddy transplanted.

“The problem of rats is there in some areas and we have started a special campaign to kill the rats guiding the farmers and providing them rat killer poison. The problem aggravated because the area under other alternative crops like pulses decreased and DSR provided the rats feed to grow,” said Dr Harnek Singh Rode.

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