Lahore: Provincial Minister for Agriculture, Malik Ahmad Ali has said that rice farmers will earn 4 to 5 billion rupees annually by using modern technology of direct cultivation of rice through seed.
He expressed these views while addressing a gathering of cultivators during inspection of fields of rice directly cultivated through seed by on Mureedkay Narowal Road. Chief Executive PARB Dr. Mubarak Ali, Director General Agriculture (Research) Dr. Noor-ul-Islam, Director Research Institute Kala Shah Kaku Dr. Muhammad Akhtar, officers of agriculture department and a large number of farmers were present on the occasion. Dr. Mubarak Ali informed that Punjab Agriculture Research Board (PARB) has provided funds to Rice Research Institute Kala Shah Kaku for introduction of cultivation of rice directly through seed. He said that through this modern technology, direct cultivation of rice results in increasing number of plants due to which not only production of rice is increased from 6 to 8 mund per acre but labour expenses are also reduced. He said that this technology being cheaper than mechanical and traditional cultivation, gives better results in less time besides saving 15 to 20 percent water. He said that this technology has entered in commercialization phase for the cultivation of rice. He further said that Punjab government is aware of the problems of the cultivators and steps are being taken on priority basis for their resolution. Dr. Muhammad Akhtar informed that this research project is very beneficial economically and Rs. 53750 have been earned from 43 mund per acre yield of Super Basmati through direct cultivation while through traditional cultivation only Rs. 43375 were generated with production of only 35 mund per acre. In this way, income of more than Rs. 10375 was received and no negative impact was seen on the quality of rice. He said that through this technology, cultivation of rice will become possible on one million acre land in next few years. The Agriculture Minister directed that complete technical guidance and training should be provided to the cultivators regarding this technology so that by increasing production of rice, the cultivators could play their due role in the strengthening of country’s economy. He further said that besides provision of funds of one billion rupees to Punjab Agriculture Research Board, double amount has been allocated for improvement of research infrastructure by the Punjab government.