Govt to promote maize over paddy - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Monday, July 8, 2019

Govt to promote maize over paddy


Govt to promote maize over paddy

Varinder Singh

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 7

To achieve the dual objective of pushing diversification, preserving environment and saving groundwater, the state is all set to increase area under maize from the existing 1.08 lakh hectares to 2 lakh hectares.

With this exercise of the agriculture department, the arrival of maize in the market will get enhanced from 4,14,000 tonnes last year to 7,60,000 tonnes during 2019-20. Maize suits the state given the fact that its groundwater is depleting at a fast pace. It requires less water in contrast to paddy. For production of 1 kg of rice, an average of 3,700 litres of water is required. On the other hand, same quantity of winter maize or corn production needs just about 1,222 litres.

The promotion of maize in contrast to paddy by 92,000 hectares will lead to arrest of Punjab’s constant environment degradation problem. The focus on maize will also help check the problem of paddy straw burning. The department has initiated a programme to financially compensate a set of selected farmers from 100 per cent paddy crop dependent districts of the state who will switch over to maize.

“Monetary compensation of Rs 23,500 per hectare will be given to such farmers with a cap of 4,000 hectares selected from 200 clusters in 20 blocks of the state. The cash incentive is being given in a bid to send a message to farmers that it is high time to contribute to environment protection and preservation by switching over to alternative crops like maize,” said Dr Sutantra Kumar Aery, Director, Agriculture, while talking to The Tribune.

The department is also giving a subsidy of Rs 90 per kg on maize seed to the farmers. The Union Ministry of Environtment and Forests had expressed its concern over unabated burning of paddy stubble in Punjab and had advised the state to take concrete steps to curb the menace.

To attract farmers, the state has initiated a scheme wherein farmers will be given subsidy for installation of drip irrigation system for maize in selected demonstration fields of 1,300 acres across Punjab. Dr Naresh Kumar Gulati, a farm expert, said of Rs 1.35 lakh per acre, farmers will be required to contribute just Rs 10,000. Maize dedicated drip irrigation is being introduced on 120 acres in Jalandhar.”

Will check straw burning 

  • Maize suits the state given the fact that its groundwater is depleting at a fast pace. 
  • It requires less water in contrast to paddy. 
  • The promotion of maize in contrast to paddy by 92,000 hectares will lead to arrest of Punjab's constant environment degradation problem. 
  • The focus on maize will also help check the problem of paddy straw burning.

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