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Punjab promoting green manure:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Agriculture related issues.

 

Context:

Punjab Government is promoting the cultivation of green manure these days.

  • The state government is providing a subsidy on the seed at the rate of Rs 2,000 per quintal.

 

What is green manure?

  • These are crops grown specifically for maintaining soil fertility and structure.
  • They are normally incorporated back into the soil, either directly, or after removal and composting.
  • Green manure varieties are incorporated into the soil when the crop is 42-56 days old.

 

Examples:

There are three main varieties of green manure, including Dhaincha, Cowpea, Sunhemp. Also some crops such as summer moong, mash pulses and guar act as green manure.

 

Benefits:

  1. Helps in enhancing the organic matter in the soil.
  2. Meets the deficiency of the micronutrients.
  3. Reduces the consumption of the inorganic fertilisers.
  4. It is a good alternative to the organic manure.
  5. It conserves the nutrients, adds nitrogen and stabilises the soil structure.
  6. It decomposes rapidly and liberates large quantities of carbon dioxide and weak acids, which act on insoluble soil minerals to release nutrients for plant growth.
  7. It contains 15 to 18 quintals of dry matter, which also contains phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, iron and manganese, per acre and 20 to 40kg per acre of nitrogen.

 

Why is sowing of green manure important in Punjab?

Punjab’s per hectare fertiliser consumption, which is around 244 kg, is one of the highest in the country and is also higher than the national average.

  • Green manure can curtail this consumption to a large extent by 25 to 30% and can save huge input cost for the farmers.
  • Regular use of chemical fertilisers such as urea, diammonium phosphate (DAP) lead to deficiencies of micronutrients like iron and zinc, especially in the soils where rice is cultivated thus affecting productivity.
  • PH level of the soil in several parts of Punjab is more than 8.5 and 9 per cent. Green manure helps maintain it.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Green manure.
  2. Composition.
  3. Types.
  4. Benefits.
  5. Applications.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Green Manure.

Q.4) Consider the following:

  1. Dhaincha.
  2. Cowpea.
  3. Sunhemp.

These are:

  1. Green Manures.
  2. Chemical Fertilizers.
  3. Organic Fertilizers.
  4. None of the above. 

Sources: Indian Express.