NewZNew (Chandigarh) : In the current scenario of Agriculture when almost complete mechanization of various agriculture operations has been achieved in the Punjab, the cultivation of Cotton is the only activity where manual operations are conducted. Govt. of Punjab had launched during this kharif an ambitious programme of complete mechanization of Cotton cultivation in an area spread over 1500 acres in south west Punjab said S. Tota Singh, Agriculture Minister, Punjab.
Hydraulic Cotton Seed Planters were arranged which were provided to the farmers on custom hire basis and subsidy for purchase of special Cotton Seeds under the project @ Rs. 4000/- per acre was made available to farmers. Growth regulating chemicals with a view to fix the plant height to 4 & ½ feet were imported as also the chemicals for defoliation of the crop before picking of Cotton. Three Cotton Picking Machines of John Deere make were imported by Punjab Agro Industries Corporation and were used on custom hiring basis. Cotton cleaning and drying machine worth Rs. 1.25 Crore was purchased and installed at Market Committee, Malout, said S. Tota Singh.
Although the weather remained inclement this year for Cotton production on account of flooding at a crucial time in south west Punjab, but the experiment of Mechanization remained successful with the machines performing their best besides, 25% increase in yield said Sh. K.S. Pannu, IAS, Managing Director, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, who has been spear- heading the project. The State Govt. has decided to expand the pilot project to 4000 Acres next year, so that the technology could be successfully demonstrated to the Cotton cultivators. PAU has been asked to further improve the packages and practices required for cotton cultivation under new mechanized production regime said Sh.Suresh Kumar, Financial Commissioner, Development, Punjab.