Giving affirmative response to the appeal of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, direct seeding of rice (DSR) kick-started in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar’s village Shahbazpur where farmer Onkar Singh planted the paddy directly on his 3-acre land. Deputy Commissioner Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa along with a battery of officials from Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department reached Singh’s fields and lauded him for adopting DSR. Deputy Commissioner also took the round to the nearby villages and motivated other farmers to come forward to opt for direct seeding.He said that the direct seeded rice machine is used for planting pre-germinated seeds of rice directly in the fields without any preparation or wet field. He said that DSR also helps to maintain plant spacing in the rows.
He said that direct sowing not only saves a lot of time and needs less manpower hence it is much cost effective. The most important feature said that there is no need to flood the field of transplantation as in the case of conventional methods of sowing.Further, he said that the Government has already announced an incentive of Rs 1500 per acre for those opting DSR. He said that DSR is being carried out on medium to heavy soils only as it is not suitable for light soils and farmers have already made aware about this. NPS Randhawa said that DSR is a most feasible alternative to reduce cost on production and conserve water. He said that this year, 20380 hectares area would be brought under DSR which is the highest ever so far and double that of the previous year in which area was 10190 hectares.Chief Agriculture Officer Dr Raj Kumar said that a portal is being developed to maintain the records of the farmers’ adopting DSR and incentive money would be transferred into their accounts through DBT mode.