Punjab chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal on Thursday approved 75 percent subsidy on maize seeds to the farmers in the remaining 12 districts of the state during the ongoing Kharif season.
Badal also directed the agriculture department to ensure the installation of two community maize dryers at Nawanshehar and Saila Khurd in Hoshiarpur at a cost of Rs 16 crore before the procurement of maize during the current Kharif season.
“This step will enable the farmers to ensure better remunerative prices of the maize crop in the mandis because dried maize fetched better returns as compared to maize with moisture content,” Badal said.
Badal also issued directions to the agriculture department to install maize dyers in all the dedicated mandis at a cost of Rs 150 crore before the commencement of procurement during next kharif season in a phased manner and said that the maize growers will also be given subsidy of 50% on the purchase of portable maize dryers.
Badal also asked the directorate of agriculture to ensure the supply of only that seed to farmers that is compatible with the climatic conditions and soil texture in the particular area.
“The financial commissioner development had already convened a joint meeting of managing directors of Milkfed and Markfed to immediately initiate the process of setting up of cattle feed units at Nawanshehar and Hoshiarpur at the cost of Rs 10 crore so as to ensure assured marketing support to the farmers producing maize in the region,” said a Punjab government spokesperson.
Highlighting the position regarding the supply of subsidized hybrid maize seed under PPP mode to the farmers, the spokesperson informed that 362 metric tonnes of maize seed of Pioneer-P 3396 and Shree Ram TX 369 has been supplied to the farmers in the ten districts namely Barnala, Fatehgarh Sahib, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Moga, Mohali, Patiala, Ropar and Sangrur under the pilot project for the promotion of maize crop and had been sown over an area of 18,040 hectare in these districts.
“As per information supplied by the district chief agriculture officers, Jalandhar tops in maize sowing followed by Mohali under PPP mode. The state government has now decided to replicate this model in the remaining 12 districts so as to shift the major chunk of area under paddy as an alternate crop in order to give much needed impetus to the agriculture diversification program,” added the spokesperson.
It may be recalled that maize had been so far sown under PPP mode and traditional area of 1,44,352 hectare during the current kharif season against the last years area of 1,29,000 hectare.