Despite shortage of canal irrigation water , 65 percent sowing of paddy crop has been completed in Punjab till 20th July while efforts are being made to complete it by 31st July, Director General Punjab Agriculture Extension services Dr Anjum Ali told Business Recorder here on Friday. He said Punjab had set a target of sowing of the country’s third biggest cash paddy crop including Basmati and non-basmati varieties , over an area of 4.33 million acres this season, of which crop has been sown over 2.8 million acres in the province.
He apprehended that pace of sowing might be delayed due to the Ramazan since manual plantation of paddy nurseries in a humid weather is a difficult job. He said the agriculture department had carried out a training programme for the paddy growers in connection with preparation of the fields, paddy nurseries and their plantation to achieve increased per acre yield of the paddy crop. He said the good news is that condition of the cotton crop at present is very healthy and the crop is safe from virus/diseases.
The conducive environment might help off set the negative impact of cotton crop sowing on one million less acreage in the province this season, Dr Ali hoped. Meanwhile, the Indus River System Authority has increased water outflow downstream the Tarbela dam by about 16,000 cusecs to supplement water availability in the irrigation canal network across the country.
The water regulatory body is releasing 3,38,000 cusecs water, including all the Indus-run of the river 180,000 cusecs water for sowing and maturing the Kharif crops including cotton, paddy/rice, sugarcane, maize, fodder and vegetables. The total flow in the four live rivers of the country at their rim stations stands at 355,000 cusecs and Irsa has stopped filling of the Tarbela dam wherein only 2.MAF has been stored so far.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012