The state cabinet of Punjab has approved Rs. 1500 per acre incentive to farmers for sowing paddy using the Direct Sowing of Rice (DSR) method. The state government allotted Rs 450 crore for this scheme. The state government also decided to provide additional financial assistance worth Rs. 1500 per acre to the farmers through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
The scheme was proposed with the objective to promote less water consumption and cost-effective DSR technology. By using this DSR technology, about 15-20% of water can be saved as compared to the conventional puddling (kaddu) method during the life cycle of crops.
The state government opted to incentivize sowing paddy in the DSR method, as the state is facing depletion of groundwater.
The incentive initiative will encourage the majority of farmers to adopt this proven technique which needs less water for irrigation, improves percolation, reduces dependence on farm labor and improves soil health, thus enhancing the yield of both paddy and wheat by 5-10%.
To implement the DBT methods, the details of the farmers were enrolled in the Anaj Kharid Portal of the Punjab Mandi Board. The farmers opting for DSR will have to register on a portal which will be developed by a team of software developers of Mandi Board. After the verification, the incentive amount will be credited to farmers’ accounts through DBT.
The Cabinet of the state government also gave its approval to enhance rates of ex-gratia grant to families of martyr soldiers from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore.