North Gazette News/ Jagraon/February 9
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday announced to provide 50 percent subsidy to women entrepreneurs for setting up dairies and purchasing of cows & buffalos besides the construction of sheds. Badal also called upon the small and marginal farmers to shift from the traditional agriculture towards progressive dairy farming to herald the second white revolution in the state.
Badal was presiding over the 8th three day International Dairy and Agri-Expo organized by Progressive Dairy Farmers’ Association (PDFA) here at Animal Fair Modren ground that was recently developed by the state government at a cost of Rs 8 crore.
Badal said that it was the need of the hour to bring diversification in agriculture sector by switching over from wheat-paddy rotation to agri-allied sectors because the conventional agriculture was no longer remunerative due to continually squeezing margins of profit and at such a juncture dairy farming seems to be one of the best alternative for the farming community. The state government was also extending all support and cooperation to boost dairy farming, as it would also give much needed impetus for strengthening the state’s agrarian economy, added Badal.
He announced that the Punjab Government was providing 50 percent subsidy on the purchase of Cows & Buffalos besides the construction of sheds to the women for the setting up their Dairies, which was double than the subsidy being provided to the male entrepreneurs.
Stressing on the dire need for improving the quality of cows and buffalos bread to increase the milk production in the state, the Chief Minister asked the Animal Husbandry & Dairy Development department to chalk out a comprehensive joint plan in unison with all the stakeholders including Punjab livestock Development Board, Punjab Dairy Development Board, Milkfed, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University Ludhiana and Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana, so that through an extensive research novel techniques of artificial insemination could be introduced as per the climatic requirements of our state to produce better quality of milch cattle with high milk production. The Chief Minister also mentioned that the state government would soon notify its new animal breeding policy.
He said that the state government was providing artificial semen for cattle to the farmers at 50% subsidy and during last four years it had provided 5.61 lac doses of Holstein Friesian (HF) semen to the Commercial Dairy Farms after importing from America, Canada and France.
Likewise, to ensure quality service Rs. 13 Crore had been spent to setup Veterinary Poly-Clinics in the state. Although with the efforts of the farmers of state, Punjab had emerged as a front runner state in the milk production but the Chief Minister pointed out that the milk production of buffalos has drastically reduced as compared to Neeli and Murrah breeds, which gave milk on an average of 20 to 22 kg. He said that Punjab had a tremendous potential to increase the milk production, which must be taped to supply the milk to the processing plants in the cooperative and private sectors for ensuring better prices to the milk producers. He said that the Milkfed had also initiated the process to upgrade its milk plants on the modern lines to cope with the enhanced milk handling capacity, which would ultimately result in heavy profits from processing of milk and milk products.
The Chief Minister also informed that the state Government was also trying to tie-up with some foreign companies pioneer in the field of dairy farming to develop dairy sector in a holistic manner through providing technical know-how and managerial skills to its dairy farmers in the state. He mentioned that dairy farming could prove to be a blessing for the farmers with small land holdings in the state.
Badal also appreciated the efforts of PDFA for being associated with about 6100 Commercial Dairy farmers. He also advised all of them to help and support the small Dairy farmers in their respective villages for promoting Dairy Farming in a big way. The Chief Minister further mentioned that despite of 1.5% of total area of the country and merely 2.5 percent of total population, Punjab had contributed 50% in total food grain production of the country but oversighting the great contribution of the farmers, the Union government has always adopted anti-farmer stance resulting the worst economic conditions of the farmers in the state. However, he said that in the contrary despite of its limited means the SAD-BJP government has always implemented the policies and programs to enhance the financial as well as social status of its farmers. He categorically mentioned that the state was providing free power to the farmers at a cost of Rs 5000 crore besides giving subsidies in the allied sectors.
Speaking on the occasion Chairman of the Punjab State Farmers Commission Dr GS Kalkat appreciated the efforts of the PDFA and advised the farmers with land holdings upto five acres to shift towards Dairy Farming which would certainly enhance their income five times.
Welcoming the Chief Minister and other dignitaries, President Progressive Dairy Farmers Association Daljit Singh Sadarpura appreciated the great concern shown by him for the development of the Dairy sector. He also expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister for adopting pro-farmer policies and assured that their association would work relentlessly for the development of the Dairy sector in the state.
On this occasion, the Chief Minister honored the five progressive Dairy farmers namely Ranjit Singh, Langiana for adopting modern Dairy techniques, Harjit Singh Ghumandgarh for keeping good breed cattle, Balwinder Singh Buttar honored with Bhagat Dhanna Yaadgari award, Karamjit Kaur Bains with Woman Dairy award and Karnail Singh badauli with Randhir Singh Rhode memorial ward. On behalf of all the Dairy farmers of PDFA, the office bearers of the organization honored the Chief Minister for his outstanding contribution for development of Dairy sector in the state.
North Gazette News/ Jagraon/February 9