PUSA-44 Paddy Variety : Banned
The Punjab Chief Minister has announced a ban on the cultivation of the PUSA-44 paddy variety starting next year.
- PUSA-44 was developed in 1993 and gained immense popularity among Punjab’s farmers, covering 70 to 80 per cent of the state’s paddy cultivation area due to its high yield.
- The reasons behind the ban on PUSA-44:
- PUSA-44 has a longer maturity period, requiring around 160 days to mature, which is approximately 35 to 40 days longer than other paddy varieties.
- Punjab faces severe groundwater depletion, and the government aims to conserve one month of irrigation water by banning PUSA-44.
- PUSA-44 exacerbates the problem of stubble burning in Punjab. Its harvesting just before the ideal time for wheat sowing (typically at the end of October) leaves a limited timeframe of 20 to 25 days for stubble disposal before wheat sowing.