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Indian Punjab to introduce cotton mechanization programme
May '14
A cotton mechanization programme would be introduced in the Indian state of Punjab following the state government’s approval for the programme aimed at cultivating high density cotton at a bigger scale.
Under the ambitious programme, farm implement maker John Deere would sow the cotton crop with the pneumatic planters in about 1,500 acres (1 acre = 0.404 hectares) of field in Muktsar district’s Malout. Further, farm chemicals maker Bayer India would import growth regulator and defoliant chemical for free-of-cost supply to the farmers for enabling them to have one-time picking of cotton yield.
The primary aim of the project is to maximize the earnings of cotton growers, by reducing their input cost through reducing the cost of labour as well as the process of cultivation.
The Punjab government will give a Rs. 4,000 per acre subsidy to farmers who opt for high density cotton cultivation. The government would invest Rs. 10 million for setting up a Cotton Cleaner at Malout Grain Market.
In addition, it would also sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Monsanto for setting up a ‘Centre of Excellence’ of cotton at Bathinda. The centre would be tasked with developing new varieties of cotton and also inventing new techniques of cotton cultivation.
Moreover, the Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) would undertake a research project, funded by Bayer India, on more than 20 acres of land. The research would focus on development of new cotton seeds best suited for the soil and climatic conditions of the state.
The trial of the cotton mechanization programme was carried out last year on more than 50 acres of land in villages near Abohar in Fazilka district. It saw the cotton yield rising by 30 to 70 percent.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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