Cotton mechanization project underway in punjab
INVC NEWS Chandigarh, In the current scenario of Agriculture when almost complete mechanization of various agriculture operations has been achieved in the Punjab, the cultivation of Cotton is the only activity where manual operations are conducted. Govt. of Punjab has launched this, kharif, an ambitious programme of complete mechanization of Cotton cultivation in an area spread over 4000 acres in south west Punjab. S. Tota Singh, Agriculture Minister, Punjab stated that encouraging results of last year project in an area of 1400 acres in Distt. Fazilka & Muktsar has prompted the Govt. to expand the project in 4000 acres this year, with complete mechanization from sowing to picking to cotton drying. He said project has been expanded so that the technology could be successfully demonstrated to the Cotton cultivators. PAU has been asked to further improve the packages and practices required for cotton cultivation under new mechanized crop production regime. He said that a project involving various stake holders like Govt. of India, Govt. of Punjab, PAU Ludhiana, M/s John Deere India Ltd, M/s Bayer India Ltd, M/s Bajaj Steel Ltd, Punjab Mandi Board, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation is being coordinated by Sh. K.S. Pannu, IAS, Managing Director, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation. Sh. Pannu has been spear heading the project for the last two seasons. He said that Hydraulic Cotton Seed Planters have been arranged which are being provided to the farmers on custom hire basis and subsidy for purchase of special Cotton Seeds under the project @ Rs. 3000/- per acre is being given to farmers. Growth regulating chemicals with a view to fix the plant height to 4 & ½ feet are being imported as also the chemicals for defoliation of the crop before picking of Cotton. Three Cotton Picking Machines of John Deere have been imported by Punjab Agro Industries Corporation and shall be used on custom hiring basis. Cotton cleaning and drying machine worth Rs. 1.25 Crore purchased by Punjab Mandi Board has been installed at Market Committee, Malout. He appealed farmers to use only PAU recommended varieties including Rasi 650m BG 2, NCS 855 Bollguard 2, Ankur 3028 Bollguard BG 2, MRC 7071 Bollguard 2, MRC 7031 Bollguard 2 and others and also asked to them to get bill at every purchase.