1. Agriculture World

Govt. to Provide Subsidy on Smart Seeder to Reduce Paddy Residue Burning

The government subsidy will help lakhs of farmers who were not able to buy Smart Seeder due to its high cost.

Binita Kumari
PAU's Smart Seeder
PAU's Smart Seeder

The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has added the 'Smart Seeder' created by Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Ludhiana to the centrally funded subsidy program.

The PAU's Research Evaluation Committee has approved using its smart seeder to sow wheat straight into paddy leftovers. The smart seeder effectively keeps the advantages of both happy seeder and super seeder in a single machine by incorporating surface mulching to manage the paddy residue.

The PAU smart seeder plants wheat in combined harvested paddy fields more quickly than the happy seeder and super seeder. Wheat can be sown on 10 to 12 acres in a day using a tractor with 45 to 50 horsepower.

The PAU seeder plants wheat seeds in a carefully tilled, narrow band of soil and then uses furrow closing rollers to cover the seed rows with soil. The machine provides the right amount of space so that the seeds can develop in wholesome soil and germinate on schedule.

In cooperation with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Corteva Agriscience, Hyderabad, it was successfully demonstrated on 580 acres for seeding wheat into paddy leftovers at farmers' fields in several districts of Punjab and Haryana during the 2021–22 wheat sowing season.

For the commercialization of its smart seeder, the Punjab Agriculture University has already signed a Memorandum of Agreement with at least 10 producers of agricultural equipment, among them a company based in Ferozepur.

The PAU smart seeder subsidy application process will be called by the Punjab Department of Agriculture. The subsidy, which will be supported by the union government, will give stakeholders another choice for reducing the practice of burning paddy residue and preserving the ecology in the area.

In comparison to areas sowed after burning the paddy straw, Dr. Jaswinder Singh Brar, plant protection officer, Moga, stated wheat sown with the smart seeder develops healthily and produces a decent yield. Farmers should stop burning paddy waste instead of simply sowing wheat with a smart seeder, he advised.

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