Punjab to replace 40 per cent wheat seed this season

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Chandigarh, Oct 16 (UNI) The Punjab Government has decided to replace 40 per cent of the wheat seed in the current Rabi season begining next month.

"This is part of the government intiative to phase out 40 per cent of the wheat seed every year and replace it with fresh seed", Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal announced here today.

Talking to mediapersons here, he said that under this programme around 35 lakh quintals of seed is required every year and efforts would be made to make this avaliable. As of now the government has got 15 lakh quintals of seed avaliable for replacement, he added while pointing out that for a health wheat crop replacement was necessary.

He also announced that some of the seed to be provided by the government would be given at subsidised rates.

Mr Badal disclosed that the government had decided to develop a 1200 acre seed farm near the border village of Ranian along the Ravi river in Amritsar district. The Ravi river enters Pakistan at Ranian village.

He said that the seed farm would be developed in collaboration with the farmers who own land in this village. While the government has got 300 acres of land, the rest would be pooled in by the farmers, he added.

Coming to paddy, the Chief Minister said that the state expects to procure around 145 lakh tonnes. So far a little over 44 lakh tonnes had been procured by the government agencies, he said while pointing out that in the last season, the agencies had procured 103 lakh tonnes while another 37 lakh tonnes was procured by the private traders.

Regarding the shortage of DAP fertilizer, Mr Badal said that he had taken up the matter at the appropriate level in Delhi. " I am hopeful of the Centres help as the wheat sowing season is about to commence", he added.

UNI HS MMS1532

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