Use of direct seed sowing techniques emphasised

Latest direct seed sowing techniques can provide additional benefit of Rs 4 to 5 billion per annum to paddy growers. This was stated by the Punjab Minister for Agriculture Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh while inspecting the fields prepared by the Rice Research Institute (RRI) Kalashah Kaku using the method direct sowing. 

The Minister addressed the farmers gathered on this occasion while he was accompanied by the Punjab Agricultural Research Board (PARB) Chief Dr Mubarak Ali, Director General (Research) Agriculture Dr Noor ul Islam, Director RRI Kalashah Kaku Dr Muhammad Akhtar and other high officers of the agriculture department. 

PARB Chief Executive Dr Mubarak Ali informed the participants that the Board had provided funds of Rs 13.9 million for this project under which technique of direct sowing of paddy seed should be promoted without preparing nursery. He said that this method also increases the plants per field thus producing 6 to 8 maund per acre besides decreasing labour cost. 

He said that this technology was cheaper than mechanised and traditional sowing and also gives better results in minimum time besides saving of 15-20 percent water. Dr Mubarak said that this technology of padding growing had entered into commercialisation phase. He said that the Punjab government is well aware of the issues being faced by the growers and taking steps on priority basis. 

Rice Research Institute (RRI) Director Dr Muhammad Akhtar said that this technology is economically very beneficial as it gives 43 maund per acre super basmati production as compared to 35 maund per acre through traditional sowing technique. He said that the growers could get Rs 10,375 per acre more through using direct sowing technique. This sowing method does not make any negative impact on the rice quality. He said that over one million acres would be sown under this technology in next few years. 

Farmers who have sown demonstration plots had told the agriculture that this technique not saves 50 percent of water but also give Rs 4,000-5,000 more. Punjab Agriculture Minister Malik Ahmad Ali directed the officials to provide complete technical guidance and training to the growers about this method for increasing paddy production. He said that Rs 01 billion had been provided to the Punjab Agricultural Research Board (PARB) to improve research infrastructure and pace up the agricultural research. 

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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