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Punjab farmers show keen interest to adopt direct seeding rice method

Chandigarh,  Punjab farmers have shown keen interest to adopt direct seeding rice (DSR) during the current paddy season by bringing 6.01 lakh hectares (15.02 lakh acres) of area under this innovative technology, an official statement said here on Wednesday.

This is the highest-ever area to be brought under DSR method in the state till date as per a report of Punjab remote sensing centre, Ludhiana, as per the statement.

Nearly 20 per cent of the total area under paddy has been brought under this water-saving technology this year.

The farmers of Bathinda district lead across the state to adopt DSR in a big way with 52,760 hectares under this technique, followed by Muktsar and Fazilka districts with 46,820 hectares and 45,850 hectares, respectively, said Punjab Director (Agriculture) Sukhdev Singh Sidhu.

He said that last year, about five lakh hectares was under DSR technology instead of traditional transplantation of paddy in which Muktsar farmers took a lead by bringing 46,510 hectares.

He further said the state”s farmers enthusiastically switched to DSR and the area increased to 6.01 lakh hectares current paddy season.

He also mentioned that under this technology, about 10-15 per cent of water could be saved by the farmers.

This technique also remained instrumental last year with saving about 15-20 per cent of water besides cutting the cost of paddy cultivation. As per reports and research of PAU experts, the yield of paddy from DSR is at par with paddy crop grown by conventional technique of transplanting, Sidhu said, as per the statement.

Notably, the Punjab government is encouraging paddy growers to adopt the DSR for crop sowing instead of the traditional method of paddy transplantation.

Farm experts said the DSR method not only saves water but is a low-labour-intensive option.

Under the DSR method, paddy seeds are drilled into the field with the help of a machine that does seeding of rice and spray of herbicide simultaneously.

According to the traditional method, first nurseries are raised by farmers and then these are uprooted and transplanted in a puddled field. Moreover, at least three-four labourers per acre are required for transplanting the crop. PTI