1. Home
  2. News

Punjab Agriculture Dept Plans to Expand Basmati Crop Area by 20 Percent

The Punjab Agriculture Department enlisted 'kisan Mitra' (farmers' friend) to provide technical advice on growing basmati. Their goal this year is to acquire 600,000 hectares for rice cultivation.

Shivam Dwivedi
Punjab Agriculture Dept Plans to Expand Basmati Crop Area by 20 Percent (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Punjab Agriculture Dept Plans to Expand Basmati Crop Area by 20 Percent (Photo Source: Pixabay)

The Punjab agriculture department has decided to increase the area under basmati crop by more than 20 per cent during this sowing season in order to reduce the water-intensive cultivation of paddy. The sowing of the basmati crop is scheduled to start this month. The agriculture department has set a target of six lakh hectares for basmati crop, as compared to four lakh hectares last year, a senior official of the department said.

It is noteworthy that the area dedicated to basmati crop was 4.85 lakh hectares in 2021-22 and 4.06 lakh hectares in 2020-21. Punjab is known for its extensive paddy cultivation, covering an area of approximately 30 lakh hectares annually, including basmati rice.

The cultivation of basmati primarily takes place in districts such as Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran, Pathankot, and others. However, officials anticipate that farmers in Fazilka and Muktsar districts will also allocate a larger area for basmati paddy cultivation this time around.

The Punjab government is actively encouraging farmers to shift to alternative crops such as basmati, cotton, and pulses, which consume less water compared to paddy crops. The official further revealed that due to the lucrative returns of more than Rs 3,500 per quintal earned by farmers from basmati paddy last year, more growers are expected to be motivated to switch to basmati cultivation this season.

The officer stated that trained Kisan Mitras from the agriculture department has been assigned the responsibility of providing technical assistance to farmers regarding basmati crops. According to the officer, the Kisan Mitra will guide farmers throughout the entire process, starting from sowing until harvesting.

It was mentioned that farmers will receive advice on the recommended pesticides for basmati crops, as suggested by the Punjab Agricultural University based in Ludhiana. Additionally, officials have cautioned farmers to avoid certain pesticides that pose a risk of exceeding the maximum residual limit for basmati grain intended for export.

India's basmati exports are estimated to be over Rs 35,000 crore, with Punjab's aromatic grain holding a significant market share. In case the basmati prices fall below the support price set by the government, the Punjab government plans to intervene through the Punjab State Co-op Supply and Marketing Federation (Markfed) to procure the crop.

Although the decision regarding the support price is yet to be finalized, sources within the department suggest it could range between Rs 2,600 and Rs 2,800 per quintal.

Take this quiz on World Meteorological Day to check your knowledge about meteorology! Take a quiz
Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters