Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday launched a direct seeding of rice (DSR) portal to facilitate farmers to give their consent for area to be sown with this technology. Lauding this farmer-friendly initiative, Mann said it would be instrumental to compile the entire data about each and every farmer, who has opted for DSR technique besides ensuring payment of Rs 1,500 per acre after proper verification through this portal to the genuine beneficiaries in a fair and transparent manner. Apprising the Chief Minister about the modalities of the portal, Additional Chief Secretary Agriculture said after proper verification, the incentive amount would be directly transferred into the bank accounts of the respective farmers. With the adoption of this innovative technology, at least 15-20 per cent water will be saved. Besides, it will help in effective percolation of water, ultimately improving the groundwater level through proper recharging.
This cost-effective technique would also cut-down the labour cost by nearly Rs 4,000 per acre. The state governement has already deployed 3,000 officers and officials of various departments to oversee the DSR operations for imparting proper technical guidance to the farmers as well as undertaking verification of the area sown under this advanced technology. The farmers from across the state are expected to cultivate paddy, including basmati over an area of 30 lakh hectares (75 lakh acres) during this kharif season. As per available data, paddy was sown last year in an area of 15 lakh acres (six lakh hectares) through DSR and during this season, the state government has fixed the target of 30 lakh acres under the new technique.