Sangrur, November 15
Many farmers have earned huge profits by sowing basmati varieties of paddy in Sangrur district.
In many villages around 25 to 30 per cent farmers had opted for basmati and demanded minimum support price (MSP) as its input costs are lesser than non-basmati varieties.
Nachatar Singh, a farmer from Kaheru village, said, “If the state government is serious in promoting basmati varieties and saving groundwater, it should announce the MSP of at least Rs 3,000 per quintal. Majority of farmers will opt for basmati as it is exported and its input cost is also less as compared to non-basmati paddy.”
As per data obtained from the Agriculture Department, around 25 to 30 per cent farmers from Natt, Kaheru, Ghanauri Kalan, Balian, Fatehgarh Panj Grayan, Kalajhar, Channo, Lakhewal, Bhado, Munshiwala, Khetla, Shadihari, Nihalgarh, Harigarh, Dhadial, Andana, Baupur, Nawagaon, Banarasi and Bhulan had sown basmati this season.
Shamsher Singh, another farmer, said, “Many farmers sold their basmati for Rs 4,000 per quintal and earned up to Rs 80,000-Rs 90,000 per acre while the MSP for non-basmati varieties of paddy does not give such profits.”
Sangrur District Food and Civil Supply Controller Narinder Singh said rates of basmati varied between Rs 3,300 and Rs 4,000 per quintal this season.
A total 2,38,700 hectares, including 2,11,900 hectares of non-basmati and 26,800 hectares of basmati, were under paddy cultivation in the district.
Chief Agriculture Officer Harbans Singh Chahal said as demand of basmati increased abroad, farmers sold their produce between Rs 3,300 and Rs 4,000 per quintal. “We are hopeful that in next season, area under basamti will increase in Sangrur district,” he said.