Punjab’s Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today gave a clarion call to the farmers to unite on a single platform for the noble cause of saving the agriculture from the ongoing crisis.
Interacting with the progressive farmers after inaugurating Kisan School and Scientist Home here at the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary Sciences University, the Chief Minister bemoaned that the regressive policies of the Union government has made Agriculture a non profitable venture due to which the need of the hour was to join hands for facing this turbulent period. He said that the due to exorbitant hike in agriculture inputs coupled with the non remunerative MSP the margins of profits of the farmers have been squeezed, which has in turn broken their backbone. So, Badal said that in this crucial hour the farmers must adopt the allied farming activities so as to supplement their income on one hand and save the agrarian economy of the state on the other.
Laying thrust on the need for diversification of agriculture in terms of adopting the Allied farming activities, the Chief Minister said that it was the panacea of all the ills of farmers. Badal impressed upon the GADVASU to play a proactive role in this regard by strengthening their extension services. He said that the scientists of the universities must go to the villages and educate the farmers about the merits of adopting Dairy farming, Piggery, Fishery, Bee Keeping and other activities, which would help the beleaguered farming community in enhancing their income.
The Chief Minister also underlined the need to encourage the landless farmers especially those belonging to the weaker and downtrodden sections of the society to adopt dairy farming. Likewise, he said that the state government was also focusing on promoting the Dairy farming by offering 50% subsidy to the women Dairy farmers. Badal also asked the university authorities to adopt ten villages for developing them as model villages with state-of-the art agriculture and animal husbandry infra structure so that they could act as source of inspiration for the other villages.
The Chief Minister also said that in a bid to curtail the huge expenditure meted out by the farmers on agriculture implements the state government has already approved to enhance the subsidy on the purchase of such implements by Agro Service Centers, for giving it to the farmers on custom hiring basis, from prevalent 33% to 50%. He said that instead of making heavy expenditure on agriculture implements the farmers must take the benefit of this scheme.
The Chief Minister also said that the state government was formulating a time bound action plan for providing quality breed of cows and buffaloes to the farmers to boost Dairying in the state. He said that need of the hour was to preserve the pedigree of traditional cows and buffaloes in the state, for which the university must play a key role.
Badal also lauded the Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) and GADVASU for their commendable work in encouraging crop diversification.
Earlier the Chief Minister also visited a number of stalls installed by the progressive farmers and had a detailed interaction with them about their projects.