Conceding the demand of state farmers, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday announced fresh schedule for staggered sowing of paddy to June 14 and June 17, restricting the number of total zones as decided earlier from four to just two.
However, the border belt across the fence has been excluded from the zonal restrictions and the farmers of this region have been allowed to sow paddy from June 10.
An official release said it was earlier decided to undertake paddy cultivation in a staggered manner by dividing the entire state into four zones viz. Zone-I with date of transplantation (June 18), Zone-II (June 22), Zone-III (June24) and Zone-IV (June 26) in order to save the fast depleting groundwater.
Chairing a meeting with the various representatives of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) led by Jagjit Singh Dallewal, the Chief Minister asked the farmers to immediately go for paddy nursery so that paddy transplantation could be ensured within the stipulated time schedule.
Fulfilling his government's firm commitment to ensure MSP on moong crop, Bhagwant Mann apprised the farm leaders that the state government has already issued a notification to procure the entire crop on MSP of Rs 7275 per quintal. He also assured the farmers that the state government is already in the mode of finalizing modalities to procure maize too on MSP to give boost to its ambitious programe of crop diversification.
On the issue of MSP for Basmati, the Chief Minister informed that he would call on the Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday to impress upon the Centre to immediately announce MSP on this quality rice so as to encourage farmers to go for its cultivation in a big way by shifting from water guzzling paddy thus conserving the water.
He also told the members of SKM that he would also take up the contentious issue of BBMB with Amit Shah for expeditious resolution to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.
The Chief Minister said that the state government has already announced a financial assistance of Rs.1500 per acre to incentivize the farmers to adopt less water-consuming and cost-effective technology.
A sum of Rs 450 crore on account of incentive amount has been earmarked for this purpose.
The release said SKM lauded the decision of state government to promote paddy cultivation through DSR technique. (ANI)