Different varieties of paddy available in the country take much time and water consumption to get matured. To get rid of this concern Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) has developed a short duration variety of paddy which will be more helpful for the farmers over late-maturing varieties.

The state agriculture department is promoting PR 126, a short-duration variety developed by Punjab Agriculture Department. The PR 126 attains height of 102 cm and matures in 123-125 days. The variety is resistant to seven different bacterial blight pathogens and yields 30 quintals of paddy per acre. 

Farmers in Punjab are being requested to switch to the early-maturing varieties of paddy which require less water and leave lighter stubble in the fields after harvest. The agriculture sector is the largest contributor to the gross state domestic product (GSDP) of Punjab. The state government is encouraging farmers to shift to other crops including cotton, maize, and pulses to promote diversification.

Earlier, the Punjab Pollution Control Board had issued a notification to delay by five days sowing of paddy, under the Punjab Preservation of Sub-Soil Water Act, 2009. This year the board has said sowing of nursery should not be before May 20 and transplantation of the crop should be done after June 20. 

Groundwater depletion in Punjab is alarmingly high due to widespread exploitation of groundwater for growing paddy. Usually, paddy, a key kharif crop, is sown over 29-30 lakh hectares in the state. This year the area under paddy is likely to witness an increase as farmers had earned higher remuneration in the last paddy season.

Mahendra Kurre

Krishi Jagran/New Delhi 



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