Rattan Tata Trust intiative helping Punjab agriculture

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Ludhiana, Nov 25 (UNI) The initiative 'Reviving the Green Revolution' operationalised by Mumbai-based Sir Ratan Tata Trust in partnership with Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has yielded positive results in Punjab, leading to an increase in Basmati production, pest control in cotton and encourging crop diversification.

The initiative was started in 2002 after realising the over-exploitation of natural resources-water and soil, stagnation in crop yields, uncontrollable insect-pests and crippling debts and suicide by farmers.

The initiative seeks answers and solutions to problems afflicting the rural Punjab.

The programme focused on diversification in paddy-wheat rotation by demonstrating and popularising alternative crops-Basmati, groundnut, maize etc and demonstrating the benefits of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in cotton.

Encouraged by the results of phase I (2002-2005), the Trust supported PAU's Directorate of Extension Education in Kharif-2006 to further disseminate improved production technologies and practices for groundnut and Basmati in selected village in Sangrur and Amritsar districts.

Enhanced seeds, M-522 and SG-99 of groundnut were sown in two villages and Super and Basmati-386 of Basmati were also grown in two villages under the expert guidance of PAU experts in 2006.

The average yield of Basmati increased by 30 percent with half the number of irrigations in the two selected villages of Amritsar district. The Basmati fields were irrigated 12 times as compared to 23 times of non-basmamti rice, leading to saving of water pumped from the ground.

Similarly a saving of 85 per cent in irrigation water was realised by growing groundnut as compared to paddy in the two selected village of Sangrur district.

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