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IAS KAP Sinha cheers Surface Seeder success: Punjab farmers optimistic

Ludhiana, April 15, 2024 (Yes Punjab News)

On the eve of Baisakhi, a significant agricultural event in Punjab, Sh. KAP Sinha (IAS), Special Chief Secretary of the Government of Punjab, embarked on a crucial visit to Bondli and Papraudi villages within the Samrala Block.

The purpose of this visit was to assess the performance of the wheat crop sown using the Surface Seeder machine, an innovative technique that has been garnering attention for its potential to catalyze farming practices in the region.

Welcomed by a team from Punjab Agricultural University, led by Vice-Chancellor Dr. Satbir Singh Gosal, Sh. KAP Sinha delved into a thorough inspection of the crops.

Engaging in intense discussions with local farmers including S. Dilbagh Singh, S. Parminder Singh, and S. Harinder Singh, the Special Chief Secretary’s observations were brimming with optimism.

He noted the robust growth of the crop, free from common pests such as aphids and yellow rust, and smooth grain development.

Noteworthy was the exceptional uniformity exhibited by wheat sown with the Surface Seeder, boasting a good crop stand and devoid of lodging issues.

Expressing his satisfaction, Sh. KAP Sinha underscored the importance of such low-cost techniques and urged Chief Agricultural Officers (CAOs) and their teams to conduct similar visits across their respective districts to popularize this method among farmers.

During the discussions, farmers shared their experiences, highlighting the efficiency of the Surface Seeder which enabled them to sow 10 acres per day using only 3 to 4 litres of diesel per acre.

They also emphasized the reduced requirement for urea and herbicides, further enhancing the cost-effectiveness of the technique.

Hailing the visit as pivotal in dispelling doubts, Dr. S.S. Gosal asserted the importance of firsthand experience.

He praised farmers for the widespread adoption of the Surface Seeder, applauding their efforts in disseminating its benefits.

Drawing attention to residue retention to sustain soil health, he listed the efficacy of Surface Seeding-cum-Mulching in preventing lodging, reducing irrigation and herbicide usage, promoting robust root development, and early crop emergence while curbing weed growth, including troublesome gulli danda (Phalaris minor).

Dr. Gosal urged the farmers in the region to embrace this eco-friendly and cost-effective method, citing its potential to bolster soil health, increase carbon content, and augment yields.

In addition to safe residue management, the technique eliminates the need for a lengthy gap between paddy harvest and wheat sowing, requires one less irrigation cycle, and streamlines agricultural processes, he reiterated.

He lauded its ease of implementation and cost-effectiveness, boasting lower sowing costs compared to traditional methods, including post-straw burning, ensuring a sustainable farming cycle.

Earlier, Dr. Ajmer Singh Dhatt, Director of Research at PAU, briefed Sh. KAP Sinha about the Surface Seeder Technique, clarifying that the method necessitates no costly machinery or high-powered tractors.

This approach not only conserves water and shields crops from heat stress but also eradicates the harmful practice of rice straw burning, fostering sustainable agricultural practices.

Dr. Dhatt assured that PAU would furnish a list of over 200 adopters of the machine across 22 districts of Punjab, facilitating future field visits and seminars to promote the technique’s adoption.

Dr. Hari Ram, Head of the Department of Agronomy, introduced the adopters of Surface Seeder, while Dr. Harshneet Singh from KVK Samrala reiterated the importance of adopting PAU technologies, offering support and guidance to farmers.

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