SUBJECT :Agriculture 


Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today gave his nod to fine tune the policy for management and utilisation of paddy straw, endorsing the consensus that emerged after deliberations with progressive farmers and agriculture experts from across the state.

The policy thrust is on a multi-pronged integrated approach backed by support for providing necessary farm machinery on subsidy to promote the concept of in-situ management of paddy straw, he said.

Concluding the two-day stakeholders' consultative conference on management and utilisation of paddy straw', the Chief Minister said the concept of re-incorporation of paddy straw would help farmers retain the fertility of soil.

The meeting was jointly organised by the departments of Science & Technology and Agriculture.

It will also ensure a environment-friendly solution for efficient disposal of paddy residue which otherwise was posing a major threat to the ecology of the state, he said.

He said this farmer-friendly approach would relieve them of the problem of paddy burning, thereby enabling sowing of the next crop without any hardship.

Badal said that according to the agriculture experts and soil scientists, the 'in-situ mechanism' of paddy straw would result in 25 per cent reduction in fertiliser consumption. This would result in accruing profit of nearly Rs 400 crore annually to the state's farmers.

Conceding to demands, the Chief Minister agreed to convene a meeting to ensure the installation of Straw Management System (SMS) on the harvesters.

The installation would facilitate farmers making use of 'happy seeder' for sowing wheat without any glitches, as the SMS would be beneficial in uniformly dispersing paddy straw in fields.

He directed the Financial Commissioner Development (FCD) to take up the issue of getting modification done as per the requirements of the local farmers in the farm equipments such as Paddy Straw Reapers, Mulchers, Choppers and Shredders.

This would promote the technique of in-situ management of paddy straw in a result-oriented manner.

The Chief Minister asked the agriculture department to launch a vigorous publicity campaign to familiarise the farmers with the various ongoing schemes/projects especially related to subsidy on agriculture machinery, drip and sprinkle irrigation and solar powered tubewells. These steps would help a majority of farmers.

Source: Business Standard, 9 Jan, 2014