Chandigarh: The area under paddy cultivation has been reduced considerably in Punjab, with nearly 7.5 lakh acres shifted from paddy to alternate crops during this Kharif (summer) season, the government said on Sunday.
The area under non-basmati paddy during this season was 57.27 lakh acres compared to 64.80 lakh acres in the previous Kharif season.
Lauding the efforts of the Agriculture Department, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said this initiative would go a long way in conserving water as paddy is a water-guzzling crop.
The Chief Minister said the government aimed to shift seven lakh acres more area from paddy to cotton, maize, basmati, fruits and vegetables to restore the water balance.
Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Viswajit Khanna said in addition to crop diversification, the department had launched a campaign to motivate farmers to reduce the use of agrochemicals, especially nine agrochemicals that have a negative impact on basmati grain quality. (IANS)