Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Saturday announced Rs 1,500 per acre financial assistance to farmers adopting direct sowing of paddy so that the depleting water table could be saved, besides extending helping hand towards the farmers.In a video message, Mann, while giving a clarion call to the farmers, asked them to bring more agricultural land under direct sowing of paddy instead of the traditional paddy transplantation.The Chief Minister said the farmers could start the direct sowing of rice from May 20. He also mentioned that the state government would not only provide Rs 1,500 per acre financial help to farmers implementing direct paddy sowing in the fields but the Agriculture Department would also extend requisite cooperation and support for it.
Expressing concern over the decreasing groundwater table, the Chief Minister underlined the need to save it. The traditional methods of paddy sowing leads to excessive consumption of water, which resulted in depletion of water table, said the Chief Minister, adding some districts had fallen in red zone category.In a fervent appeal to farmers, Mann said: "This season, not only you... yourself come forward for direct sowing of rice but also motivate your relatives and friends for this in interest of Punjab. Joint efforts can save the decreasing water table and all of us should join hands for this noble cause."Referring to new innovations of agri-scientists, he said the direct sowing was beneficial for the environment as well as economically viable for farmers, which also secures the yield of crop.This technique will also helpful in getting increased production of wheat in the fields, where direct sowing of paddy was adopted.