A five-year programme costing Rs 6.63 billion has been launched under Agriculture Emergency a National Programme for enhancing profitability through increasing rice yield in 15 rice growing districts of Punjab.
Agriculture department sources told APP on Sunday that under the programme, special attention would be focused on the promotion of mechanized farming in these districts.
Under the programme, efforts would be made for timely sowing of identified ecological best verities through the promotion of direct seedling of rice drill in these districts.
The mechanized transplanting of rice nurseries would replace the outdated manual transplanting. The project was being carried out in Sialkot, Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Okara, Hafizabad, Nankana Sahib, Bahawalnager, Jhang, Narowal, Kasur, Mandi
Bahauddin, Chiniot, Gujrat, Lahore and Faisalabad districts where area under rice both Basmati and course verities would be brought under cultivation on 70,000 acres of land in these areas.
Under the programme, the government would provide riding type rice transplanter, walk-after type rice transplanter, nursery raising machine, direct seedling drill, rice straw chopper, water tight rotavator and knapsack power sprayer.
The government will also provide subsidy to the rice growers for purchasing tested paddy seeds and pesticides.
The government will also provide subsidy amounting Rs 1500 per acres to growers for encouraging combined harvesting. The concept of the programme was to promote mechanized cultivation aimed at enhancing per acre yield. In this regard, the government would provide agricultural machinery to growers at concessional rates for encouraging mechanized agriculture and ensure economic benefits of the growers.—APP