Maize acreage rises in Sangrur - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Maize acreage rises in Sangrur

Maize acreage rises in Sangrur

Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 12

The area under maize cultivation in the district, where all 10 blocks are in dark zone due to over exploitation of groundwater, has increased to 2,000 hectares from the last year’s 300 hectares. Farmers said they were willing to shift to lesser water-guzzling crops, but they needed the support of the government.

“In a majority of villages, the water table has gone down to around 500-600 ft, while earlier it was available at 200 ft. To control further damage, a majority of farmers are willing to shift to maize or other crops. But the government must support them financially,” said Rajpal Singh, a farmer from Mangwal village.

Sangrur Chief Agriculture Officer (CAO) Sushil Kumar said their teams had been visiting almost all villages of the district to convince farmers to switch over to maize and cotton.

“Many are worried after knowing about the depleting groundwater and they are taking our advice. However, there are some elderly farmers who are unwilling to experiment,” Kumar said.

According to information, blocks, including Bhawanigarh, Andana, Dhuri, Dirba, Malerkotla-1 and 2, Sherpur, Sangrur, Amargarh and Ahemdgarh, are in the dark zone and the failure of the state government in providing them required canal water has made things worse.

“In Sangrur only 23.48 per cent area is being irrigated through canal water, while the remaining get water supply through tubewells. Apart from taking steps to shift farmers to cotton and maize, the state government must take steps to increase the supply of canal water,” said Aman Punia, BJP leader who has decided to file PIL in the Punjab and Haryana High Court to seek increase in canal water supply to Sangrur.

Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said they had been trying to spread awareness among farmers through special seminars and meetings at village level.

“There is a change among farmers and they have agreed to go for maize and cotton,” the DC added.

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