Wednesday, November 9, 2011

With yield static for 4 yrs, experts moot new variety of seeds

Raakhi Jagga, Indian Express

Ferozepur With the yield of rabi and kharif crops remaining stagnant for the past four years, there is a need for new variety of seeds to improve farming practices or for some seed treatment, experts told a farmers training cam here.

"Wheat production was 164 lakh tonne last year but this year we are targeting only 154 lakh tonne. A few new varieties of seeds can help increase the production. This year farmers got PBW 621 variety and HD 2967 certified by PAU but they were limited in quantity. The yield wil be know in April only," Nirankar Singh Saran, joint director in agriculture department, said.

Saran also asked the farmers not to do stubble burning so as to maintain fertility of the soil.

Yuvraj Pandha, assistant professor—plant protection cell of Krishi Vigyan Kendra—said most of the farmers do not do seed treatment.

"Majority of the farmers hardly do seed treatment for diseases like loose smut and later they suffer from poor yield. This is also resulting in the static growth for past many years," he said.

The agriculture department has been promoting only Happy Seeder, which can do direct sowing of wheat seeds without burning the straw. The cost of this machine is Rs 1.15 lakh and farmers' commission also gives subsidy worth Rs 60,000 but still farmers are not interested in buying it.

"The whole state is having only a few such machines. Farmers do not want to spend time and money, they just want to burn the land and make it ready for the next crop," Saran said.

Ferozepur and Fazilka Additional Development Officer M S Bhullar said they were spreading awareness and a few are following it. "Till the time an Act is not framed, people will not stop stubble burning," he said.

In the training camp, apart from display of new machines, the main focus was on spreading awareness on stubble burning.

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