Punjab government today said it has given nod to go for high density cotton cultivation at a bigger scale under cotton mechanisation programme in the state
An official spokesperson said here that under this ambitious programme, farm implement and farm chemicals makers including John Deere, Bayer India have been roped in which would help the state carrying out high density cotton cultivation at an area of 1,500 acres at Malout in which seven packets of cotton seeds were sown instead of existing two packets in one acre of land.
John Deere would sow the cotton crop with the pneumatic planters whereas Bayer India would import growth regulator and defoliant chemical which would supplied free of cost to the farmers for ensuring one time picking of the cotton yield, he said.
"The project primarily aims at maximising the profit of the cotton cultivators, reducing input cost by overcoming problem of expensive labour and reducing the process of cotton cultivation," he said.
In order to encourage farmers to opt for high density cotton cultivation, the state government will provide a subsidy of Rs 4,000 per acre to growers.
John Deere would also provide six cotton picking machines to ensure smooth picking of cotton in the fields. Likewise, the state government would also set up a Cotton Cleaner at Malout Grain Market at a cost of Rs 1 crore.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Monsanto for establishing a 'Centre of Excellence' of Cotton at Bathinda would also be signed, which would help in developing new varieties of cotton and focus on inventing new techniques of cotton cultivation.
Similarly, for ensuring better agronomic practices to benefit farmers, Bayer India would fund research project of the PAU spread over 20 acres of land, which would emphasis on the development of new cotton seeds best suited for the state.
Punjab government had already conducted the trial of this programme last year in which trials of cotton picking and cleaning were conducted over 50 acres of land in villages near Abohar.
The trial had produced desirable results as the yield of cotton had witnessed an increase ranging from 30 to 70 %. Likewise, after plucking cotton the farms were ready for sowing wheat crop in the month of November, which resulted in enhanced yield of the food grain.
Overwhelmed by the success of this trial, the farmers were now ready to replicate this model over an enlarged area, he said.