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Punjab to Introduce Cotton Mechanisation Plan

Punjab to Introduce Cotton Mechanisation Plan

09 May 2014

INDIA - In order to maximize cotton cultivators profit in the state, Punjab state has decided to implement cotton mechanisation programme in cotton-producing Malwa belt of south-west Punjab, writes Jagdish Kumar.

The decision was announced by the state chief minister, Prakash Singh Badal on 5 May.

The project aims at maximising the profit of cotton growers, reducing input costs and making the process of cotton cultivation efficient to pave way for high yield of the crop.

Under the programme introduction of pneumatic planters, cotton picking machines and high-yielding varieties of seed, besides setting up a centre of excellence in Bathinda has be planned.

The project will also reduce input costs by overcoming the problem of expensive labour.

The programme will involve Punjab Agricultural University, state Agriculture Department and renowned agro companies like John Deer, Bayer India working on the project.

The companies like John Deer, Bayer India will conduct trials on 1,500 acres near Malout, where they would practice high density cotton cultivation.

John Deer would supply pneumatic planters that will sow cotton crop, whereas Bayer India would import growth regulator and defoliant chemical, that will be distributed free of cost to the farmers for ensuring one-time picking of cotton.

The state government will also provide $67 per acre to encourage the farmers to adopt high density cotton cultivation.

The government will set up cotton cleaner at Malout grain market at a cost of $167,000, besides establishing a centre of excellence at Bathinda.

The center of excellence would help in developing new varieties of cotton and focus on inventing new techniques of cotton cultivation.

Bayer India would fund a research project of PAU spread over 20 acres, which would emphasise on the development of new cotton seeds best suited for the state.
Along with private firms, the government had already conducted trials of cotton picking and cleaning over 50 acres in villages near Abohar that had produced desirable results as the yield had witnessed an increase ranging from 30 per cent to 70 per cent.


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