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Punjab: Govt undertakes pilot project of residue-free Basmati rice cultivation

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The Punjab government has undertaken a pilot project under which residue-free basmati has been cultivated in Chogawan block of Amritsar district in a bid to promote organic farming. Residue-free practices entail minimal or no usage of chemicals.

The Chogawan block falls in the basin of the Ravi River and has favourable climatic conditions to nurture the most aromatic long-grain Basmati rice making it export quality produce.

The state Agriculture Minister Gurmeet Singh Khudian said that an awareness campaign has also been launched in the area to sensitise farmers about the judicious use of pesticides and nearly 10 insecticides /fungicides have been banned for application on Basmati crops.

The Chogawan block has around a total 32,000 hectares cultivated area, of which 28,753 hectares is covered under the paddy crop. Out of the total 102 villages, 42 villages of the block have been selected under this pilot project.

Basmati rice has great export potential as most of the basmati produced in the region is being exported to more than 60 countries including Arab, European, and Middle-Eastern Region.

Amritsar district alone exported Basmati rice around Rs 9,000 crore last year. More than 3600 farmers have been shortlisted after the door-to-door survey conducted by the agriculture department. 

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