In a big leap forward towards promoting crop diversification in the state by facilitating the Maize cultivators to avail better value of their harvest, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has given his nod to set up five multi-crop Drying centres with small Maize Dryers to ensure remunerative value of farmer’s produce by reducing its moisture content.
After giving nod to the proposal, Badal said that these multi-crop drying centres would be set up a cost of Rs 5 crore each and would have four dryers with six ton capacity. The operational capacity of these centres would be 24 ton per batch. As per the decision of the state government these Centres would be set up in Focal Point Phuglana or Kangmai in Hoshiarpur district, Additional Yard Market Kapurthala and at new grain markets of Bhogpur (Jalandhar), Macchiwara (Ludhiana) and Nakodar (Jalandhar).
It is pertinent to mention here that the state government has already set up two big Multi-Crop Drying Centres at Sub Yard Saila Khurd and Nawanshehar with the capacity of 64 ton each. The mega Maize dryers installed in these centres had the capacity of 16 ton each. However realising well that the small maize dryers would be more efficient and useful for the small and marginal farmers, the Chief Minister had underscored the need to cater their specific needs.
It must be recalled that Maize was amongst the crops having high moisture content value far above the specifications laid down by the Government of India. Normally, Maize crop have 24 percent or more moisture content which could now be reduced to 12-14 percent after drying it with the help of Maize drier plant. Traditionally, the farmers used to Dry Maize in their fields before marketing but now with the adoption of intensive cultivation he has to sell it immediately after the harvest to arrange the inputs for the following crops. Henceforth these Centres would be beneficial for the farmers to get remunerative return on their produce on one hand besides promoting the state’s ambitious crop diversification program on the other.