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Punjab: 7.5 lakh acres of area shifted from paddy to alternate crops during Kharif season this year

ANI | Updated: Dec 29, 2019 20:06 IST

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], Dec 29 (ANI): On the directives of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to promote crop diversification, the area under Paddy cultivation has been considerably reduced, with nearly 7.5 lakh acres shifted from paddy to alternate crops during the Kharif season in 2019.
A press statement from the Punjab government said, "The area under Paddy cultivation has been considerably reduced, with nearly 7.5 lakh acres shifted from paddy to alternate crops during the Kharif season in 2019. Notably, the area under non-basmati paddy during the current Kharif season was 57.27 lakh acres as compared to 64.80 lakh acres during the Kharif-2018."
Lauding the efforts of the Agriculture Department, Singh said that this initiative would go a long way in conserving water as Paddy is a water-guzzling crop.
The Chief Minister said the government aimed to shift 7 lakh acres more area from Paddy to cotton, maize, basmati and fruits and Vegetables with a view to restoring the water balance in the state.
"He further said the Agriculture Department had already shifted 7.5 lakh acres area from paddy to other crops this year. This includes about 3 lakh acres under cotton, 1.27 lakh acres under maize, 2.95 lakh acres under basmati and 17,500 acres under fruits and vegetables," the press statement said.
The statement further said, "Highlighting the major initiatives undertaken by the Agriculture Department during the year 2019, Viswajit Khanna, Additional chief secretary (Development) said that, in addition to crop diversification, the department had also launched a vigorous campaign in Kharif-2019 to motivate farmers to reduce the use of agrochemicals, especially nine agrochemicals that have negative impact on Basmati grain quality."
This had brought encouraging results as the chemical residue level in Basmati crop was found to be below minimum residue level (MRL), he said.
"Following this initiative, the state farmers had produced high-quality basmati crop and got remunerative prices of their produce in spite of weak international sentiment owing to restrictions on export to Iran, which is a major market for Punjab basmati," the statement added. (ANI)

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