BANKING AND ECONOMY
In the upcoming Kharif season, the farmers of Punjab will receive financial aid of Rs 1,500 per acre to grow paddy who go in for the Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) technique. It was announced by the Chief Minister of Punjab to save groundwater in the state. The farmers can start sowing paddy using this DSR method from May 20.
Under the DSR technique, paddy seeds are drilled into the field with the help of a machine that does seeding of rice and spray of herbicide simultaneously. This DSR technique would also mitigate the labor woes faced by farmers ahead of each paddy season.
This step will wean away farmers from transplantation of paddy, which is detrimental to the environment and makes it a groundwater-guzzling crop. This was initiated as the state was facing depleting groundwater levels very fast. Every kilogram of paddy requires up to 3,000 liters of water. Out of 150 blocks, 117 blocks in the state are categorized as ‘over exploited’ and most of the districts of the state are declared as ‘red zone.
In the traditional method, first young paddy plants are raised by farmers in nurseries and then these plants are uprooted and transplanted in a muddy field.
In India, the Kharif season is popularly considered to start in June and end in October. The crops are usually sown at the beginning of the first rains during the advent of the southwest monsoon season, and they are harvested at the end of the monsoon season (October–November). Rice is the most important Kharif crop in India. The crop requires a temperature of 16–20 °C (61–68 °F) during the growing season and 18–32 °C (64–90 °F) during ripening. It needs 150–200 centimeters of rainfall.