Shimla/ August 23
State government would consider conducting an education tour of progressive farmers to developed countries to learn latest farming techniques to increase their crop yield and adopt water efficient irrigation techniques.
This was stated by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal while addressing state-level Kisaan Samman Samaroh at Nalti in district Hamirpur for their outstanding contribution in the farm sector on Thursday.
Earlier he laid foundation-stone of office and training centre building of Hamirpur District Cooperative Union at Hamirpur, estimated at a cost of Rs. 30 lakh, Ayurvedic Health Centre at Khaggal, estimated to cost Rs.10 lakh, Improvement of LIS Neri-Kamlah estimated to cost Rs. 63.50 lakhs which will irrigate 41 hectares of farm land. He also dedicated Ambedkar Bhawan at Khaggal constructed at a cost of Rs. 16.50 lakh besides performing Bhoomi Poojan of Matahani-Shastar road to cost Rs. 1.28 crore.
Dhumal said that state had waived off Tacavi and Land Conservation Loan of 43,485 farmers who had borrowed the same decades ago. He said that State Government had decided to provide 50 percent subsidy over seed and fodder to compensate the loss caused to crops due to less rains. He said that Rs. 425 crore Shah Nehar and Rs. 200 crore Siddhatha Medium Irrigation Schemes were nearing completion and would soon be dedicated to the farmers. He said that about Rs. 900 crore had been spent over channelization of Swan River in district Una which had benefited thousands of farmers through reclamation of their farmland.
He said that Rs. 8 crore were spent on construction of check dams in district Hamirpur during 1998-2003 term of BJP which had raised the ground water level by about two meters and farmers adopted for vegetable cultivation yielding them an income of over Rs. 200 crore.
Chief Minister said that State had facilitated growers of upper and lower areas uniformally by providing them equal support price. He said that progressive farmers had successfully experimented cultivation of fruits cultivated in different ecological conditions as apple growers of Kotgarh had successfully grown Mango and farmers of Ghumarwin had cultivated apple crop. He underlined the need for providing farmers expert advice for cultivation of particular type of crop to yield high benefits.
Chief Minister said that farming had been considered to be the best avocation since ancient times as farming activities were considered major source of income. He said that even today 70 percent of population was engaged in farming activities.
Chief Minister honoured 102 farmers from different areas of the State with cash prize of Rs. 10,000 each which also consisted of 52 Excellent Farmer Groups getting cash prize of Rs. 20,000 each.
Local MLA Urmil Thakur thanked Chief Minister for all the inaugurations and foundation-stones laid in her home segment during his two day visit. She said that Rs. 321 crore JICA Organic Farming Project was bound to further boost traditional farming in the state.