With 1,500 acres, Punjab village sets direct paddy sowing record

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Kauni village has scripted a success story in direct sowing, leaving the rest of the state behind. Records show that more than 1,500 acres land in the village in Muktsar is under direct sowing of paddy, higher than anywhere else in the state. The total area under farming is 4,000 acres.

And in spite of rainfall having been scanty, the paddy has grown well, say the farmers. The yield has improved by 50 kg per acre to a quintal per acre in basmati varieties, say the delighted farmers, when the village's own requirement for the crop is far lower.

"Every household in the village has used a part of its land for direct sowing. A few have carried out direct on the whole of their land while others have tried it on small or large portions," said progressive farmer Ravinder Singh Brar.

"Our village has been trying this technology for the past two years. Last year, we had sown paddy on 500 acres and this year we have surpassed ourselves," he added.

Five farmers who own more than 50 acres, and more than 25 who own between 25 and 50 acres, have undertaken direct sowing of paddy.

Dr Beant Singh, chief agriculture officer of Muktsar, confirmed that the village has topped the state in adopting this technology. Farmers in most other areas are yet to show a keenness to make the switch and are still following the tradition of paddy transplantation, which involves huge labour expenditure and time, Dr Singh said.

In direct sowing, the seeds are sown directly with a happy seeder. The farmers also use roller-planter machines and various other technologies as suggested by the agriculture department, Brar says.

While the basmati yield has improved a lot in the past two years, other paddy varieties too have been recording almost the same yield, said Brar. "Still, the expenses involved in direct sowing are lower," he said. "The labour cost comes down by Rs 1,000-1,500 per acre while the number of times the fields need to be watered, too, comes down by six turns. So it is better for our groundwater level, too; we contribute our bit in protecting the environment."

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