Agriculture Department to hold camp for farmers

To encourage farmers not to use the paddy variety that they has been using for a long time and giving them an alternative if they do not find labour after the beginning of the paddy season, the Agriculture Department is going to organise a camp on April 9 at Lambra. Around 3,000 farmers are expected to take part in the camp.

Officials of the Agriculture Department said that rice transplanter was a machine that was used as an alternative to transplant paddy.

“For the past many years, labourers have been transplanting paddy. These days, farmers have been facing problems in finding labourers because of which the process of cultivation and harvesting get late. But paddy transplanter does all work. In a day, it caters to around 8 acres which is not possible when labourers do the work,” said an official of the Agriculture Department.

Notably, for years, farmers do not get labour on time, leading to delay in the whole process of paddy harvesting. Last year, many farmers could be seen thronging the railway station for labourers.

A farmer, who was at the railway station to look for labourers, had said, “No one is more important than labourers for us. So, I am at the railway station to take labourers coming from Bihar and UP along with me.”

One of the representatives of a farmers’ body said the problem of labourers shortage was getting worse every day.

“Many farmers keep on waiting for labourers now. There is a limited period for sowing paddy and it will ultimately affect the crop,” he said.

Instructions on PUSA 44 variety to be given

Besides, the Agriculture Department will ask farmers to stop using a paddy variety, PUSA 44. The officials said the variety took long to get harvested, while the other varieties such as PR 126 got ready to harvest earlier than the one the farmers had been using for long.

They said the PUSA 44 variety ultimately affected the sowing of the next crop (wheat). Apart from this, the camp is likely to throw light on paddy straw management and other issues.

[ Jalandhar, April 7]