Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s assurance of providing minimum support price (MSP) on ‘moong’ crop has evoked resonance among the state’s farmers who responded by doubling the area under its cultivation this year.
At present, the pulses variety is cultivated over nearly 97,250 acres (38,900 hectares) as compared to 50,000 acres during last year.
The MSP for ‘moong’ is Rs 7,275 per quintal and this initiative will instrumental to supplement the farmer’s income by sowing another crop between wheat-paddy cycle, an official statement said.
As per data of the state Agriculture Department, Mansa district led the state in sowing ‘moong’ over 25,000 acres (10,000 hectares) i.e. 25 per cent of the total area sown under this crop in the state.
It is followed by Moga 12,750 acres (5,100 hectares) and Ludhiana 10,750 acres (4,300 hectares). The area under ‘moong’ in Bathinda and Sri Muktsar Sahib districts is 9,500 acres (3,800 hectares) and 8,750 acres (3,500 hectares), respectively.
According to Director Agriculture Gurvinder Singh, the ‘moong’ crop has nitrogen-fixing nodules in the root zone of pulse crop which improve the fertility of land by fixing nitrogen in the soil.
Even if the yield of ‘moong’ crop drops, the benefits of nitrogen fixation are available to the next crop. The consumption of urea for the next crop reduced up to 25-30 kg per acre than the recommended dose.
The Chief Minister has already reiterated its government’s firm commitment to purchase every grain of their ‘moong’ crop with a pre-condition that they will have to sow paddy 126 variety or basmati in the same field after harvesting ‘moong’ as both these crops take far less time for maturity as well as require much less water as compared to other varieties of paddy.
Mann also appealed to the farmers to save only available natural resource water by adopting patterns of alternative crops. To encourage the farmers to go for direct sowing of rice (DSR), the state government has already announced financial assistance of Rs 1,500 per acre to them.