Adopt alternative crops like cotton, basmati: Punjab CM
Terming crop diversification a critical necessity for the state, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday gave a clarion call to the farmers for a paradigm shift in agriculture by adopting alternative crops like cotton, basmati, and moong.
Chandigarh, March 30 (IANS) Terming crop diversification a critical necessity for the state, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday gave a clarion call to the farmers for a paradigm shift in agriculture by adopting alternative crops like cotton, basmati, and moong.
In a video message to the farmers, he said several crops were grown on the fertile land but gradually the farmers confined themselves to paddy only.
He said this has adversely affected the topography of the state in terms of excessive power consumption, depletion of water table as most of the blocks had gone in extreme dark zones, pollution due burning of stubble and others.
Mann said to tackle this the need of hour is adopt alternative crops, adding a high-level committee headed by the Chief Secretary has also recommended the adoption of these crops.
He said the state government is adopting it in a big way. He accorded guarantee to provide canal water for cotton crop from April 1 and announced 33 per cent subsidy on cotton seeds certified by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), besides to provide insurance on cotton crop and minimum support price (MSP) on basmati.
Expressing concern on various menaces posed by paddy, Mann said the government's firm belief to increase area under cotton cultivation will check the problem.
He said preventive measures are also being taken to check the attack of white fly and pink worm.
Recommending the cultivation of PR 126 and other similar varieties of paddy, he said special emphasis is being given to promote PAU certified varieties and discourage the water guzzling varieties such as PUSA 44 which take ample time for harvesting.
Mann said the MSP would continue on moong but the recent researches showed that the white fly problem arises on its crop. He suggested the farmers not cultivate moong in Mansa, Bathinda, Mukatsar Sahib, and Fazilka districts.