A 1st: Punjab’s push for ‘chemical-free’ basmati cultivation in Amritsar block, famous for | Chandigarh News – Times of India

Amritsar: For the first time Punjab Agriculture And Farmers Welfare Department has taken initiative for toxin free production Basmati Aims to promote chemical free, aromatic, long grain, in the famous Chogawan block of Amritsar district Rice There is a huge demand all over the world. The department is also encouraging farmers for crop production and has recruited 365 ‘Kisan Mitras’ (farmer friends) to motivate them. educate farmers on basmati Farming,
Amritsar Chief Agriculture Officer Jatinder Singh Gill said that this pilot project has been started in collaboration with Punjab Agro Industries Corporation (PAIC). He said that under the project, 10 agrochemical compounds (insecticides, insecticides and fungicides) banned by the Punjab Agricultural University would not be sprayed on Basmati. “This is being done to avoid rejection of our basmati in the international market due to the presence of traces of these chemical compounds beyond the permissible limits, which leads to huge loss of foreign exchange,” Gill said. Block, Middle East, Europe and America are in high demand.
He said that the department had shortlisted the farmers who would be part of the pilot project. The Amritsar CAO said that Chowgawan has an edge over basmati grown in other areas due to its alluvial soil and climatic conditions due to its proximity to the Ravi river.
The government’s aim to encourage farmers to grow basmati is that it is planted in the first week of July, about a month after the transfer of paddy (the Parmal variety of rice) to the depletion of groundwater due to the onset of the monsoon. can be stopped. Farmers are being encouraged to cultivate Pusa Basmati 1121, Pusa Basmati 1718, Pusa Basmati 1509 and Punjab Basmati 7 varieties, which are procured by private millers. Last year, Pusa 1121 sold between Rs 3,500-4,000 per quintal, while paddy cost Rs 2,060 per quintal.
Overall, Amritsar has about 1.08 lakh hectares under basmati cultivation in 776 villages, which the department aims to increase to 1.4 lakh hectares this season.
Farmers in Majitha, Jandiala, Tarsika and a part of Attari block planted Pusa Basmati 1509 early so that their fields would be ready for sowing peas and potatoes after harvesting in September. Gill said they are in the process of recruiting ‘Kisan Mitra’, who will be between 45 and 60 years old and have at least 1 or 2 acres of farming experience. Kisan Mitras will be paid Rs 5,000 per month from May to November.
Two villages have been assigned to each Kisan Mitra, except in villages with less than 100 acres of land and non-inhabited villages in Ajnala and Chogawan blocks.