Agenda– Solutions for responsible water use and long-term viability of agriculture in Punjab
Date– 22nd May, 2019
Venue– Gurudwara Sahib, Lapran
- Mr. Ranjodh Singh, Project Coordinator, Centers for International Projects Trust (CIPT)
- Dr. Baldev Singh, Chief Agriculture Officer (CAO), Ludhiana
- Dr. Dilbag Singh, Agriculture Officer (AO), Khanna
- Dr. Keshani, Assistant Professor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana
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)
- Mr. Gurwinder Singh, Agriculture Sub Inspector (ASI)
- 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 BIJA 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 the farmers has adopted laser leveller and very less were practicing short duration varieties.
- 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 only 2 packets.
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, felt free to adopt water saving technologies.
Discussion- At the end one session of discussion was kept in which farmers shared their views and asked queries.
Farmer Kulwinder Singh shared his views that he already practicing alternate wetting and drying, which benefited his crop. He also advised his fallow farmers to adopt these technologies. He used to level his land with laser leveller after every two years.
Secretary of cooperative society thanked CIPT for adopted their society and also farmers who visited to attend training camp from their busy schedule.
It was an interactive session where farmers asked their queries. Experts answered their queries. It was felt that more visits needed to gain confidence of farmers.
Farmers were fully involved in the training programme. It seemed that farmers had desire to adopt new technology but they did not have access to it. Not even a single organization visited before to work for farmers’ welfare. So, they were happy and also demanded inoculum of wheat for Rabi season.