Agenda– Solutions for responsible water use and long-term viability of agriculture in Punjab
Date– 22nd May, 2019
Venue– Kathari cooperative society, Ludhiana
- Mr. Ranjodh Singh, Project Coordinator, Centers for International Projects Trust (CIPT)
- Dr. Baldev Singh, Chief Agriculture Officer (CAO), Ludhiana
- Dr. Aulakh, Agriculture Officer (AO), Doraha
- Dr. Iqbaljit Singh, Agriculture Development Officer (ADO)
- Dr. Keshani, Assistant Professor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana
- Primary duty of resource person was to explain about the project and to provide technical guidance on water saving technologies and practices.
- Bhupinder Singh (CIPT)
- Subhash Bindra (CIPT)
- Amandeep Singh (CIPT)
- Sukhwinder Singh, Daily Paid Labour (DPL), PAU
Primary duty was to organize these camps and build a coordination with project team, cooperative and villagers. Apart from that they helped in addressing the queries of farmers during discussion. Distributed the inoculum, took an attendance of farmers, photograph and keeping record of farmers.
Camp discussion was initiated by Ranjodh Singh (CIPT) about the project. He explained the objectives and announced Kadon cooperative society to be adopted under five-year project named “Solutions for Responsible Water Use and Long-Term Viability of Agriculture in Punjab” funded by (Hindustan Uniliver Foundation) HUF, an international organization which will raised the fund for welfare of farmer through various water saving methods and technologies in Agriculture. Other technical partners are PAU, Agriculture department and Cooperation department. This project will work on market linkages via cooperatives and FPOs which will help farmers to come out from distress and enhance the efforts of crop diversification. It will work on the behavioural change of farmers. CIPT will try to push farmers to reorient the present farming practices and will urge to follow the PAU recommendations. The later part of this training included the guidance and water saving practices and technologies which are as under:
- Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR)– This is the method in which farmers can sow rice directly without puddling. This will help to save both water and labour cost.
- Short duration variety– As recommended by PAU, PR- 126 is the short duration variety which takes around 120 days to mature in comparison to usually practiced long duration varieties which takes around 140- 150 days to mature. So, this will definitely reduce demand of water as number of irrigations will be less for short duration variety.
- Alternate wetting and drying (AWD)– Under this, farmers are recommended to make first water stand only for 15 days and then apply subsequent irrigations on two day interval when standing water get percolate.
- Laser leveller– Before its introduction, it was difficult for farmers to level their field properly which results both water and crop loss as in some part of the land water remained stand and in other water unable to reach. So, introduction of the laser leveller solved this problem to a large extent.
- Digital Soil moisture Sensor– By using this farmer can check moisture level in his field by just inserting it in the soil. It will display result within five seconds and farmer can water his field accordingly.
- PAU Kisan APP– Using this farmer can have access to each and every newly updated information either it is related to crop variety, disease or pest control, fertilizer dose, irrigation or weather forecast.
- Most of them adopted laser leveller and some adopted short duration variety.
- Demonstration on soil moisture sensor was also given to farmers.
Dr. Pratiba, Assistant Professor, Microbiology Department of PAU briefed farmers on inoculum to be used in Rice.
She said “Half kg packet to be mixed in 100 litres of water. Then dip uprooted seedling in the solution for 45 minutes so that its roots get treated. After 45 minutes farmer can transplant it in the field. This will increase yield by 4-5 per cent plus will reduce demand of urea to one- fourth if use regularly.”
- This half kg packet cost Rs 40 but during training CIPT shared 25 per cent cost and provided it to farmers @ Rs 30 per packet.
- CIPT managed to distribute 10 packets.
Dr.Baldev Singh (CAO) briefed farmers about subsidy on farm machinery. He also mentioned there about the introduction of Lucky seed drill which was expected the most efficient way for direct seeding of Rice. He made farmers aware of the soil condition of the village through soil map and advised farmers to apply fertilizer accordingly. He urged farmers to use water saving technologies to save water for next generation.
Dr. Rajinder pal Singh Aulakh (AO) focused majorly on DSR. He gave an example of Indra Glaske village near Phagwara were many farmers prefer DSR on puddled rice. He said that DSR saves both water and labour cost. He also asked farmers whether they applied machinery group subsidy and if not then apply before 30th June, 2019. He also persuaded farmers to not burn paddy straw and described the management ideas. Using DAP in Rice was not recommended and farmers should stop its application. He assured farmers that agriculture department will regularly visit their fields. So, feel free to adopt water saving technologies.
At the end of session farmers shared their views and asked queries.
- Paramjit Singh, a Millet grower farmer addressed farmers and tried to motivate them by sharing his experience and urged them to follow the path of diversification in order to cope up with the problem of water crises.
- Navdeep Singh, another progressive farmer who used to cultivate earlier Pusa 44, a long duration variety now shifted to short duration variety suggested CIPT and Agriculture Department that strong extension work was needed in order to change the present scenario of Agriculture in Punjab.
Secretary of cooperative society also urged farmers to join the programme initiated by CIPT-HUF for social welfare and thanked all speakers for their valuable advice.
Response was positive and farmers were also keen to know more about the programme, especially of market linkages and ready to diversify their present cropping pattern if assured price was given to them either from government or non-government organization.