Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday approved the constitution of a 10-member committee to formulate a long-term state agriculture policy in a bid to rejuvenate the sector.
The committee would be headed by Punjab State Farmers Commission chairman GS Kalkat.
Financial commissioner development GS Sandhu, Punjab agricultural university V-C BS Dhillon, Delhi-based National Centre for Agricultural Economics And Policy Research director Ramesh Chand, Bangluru-based Indian Institute of Horticultural Research director AS Sidhu among others would be its members.
Milkfed managing director and Punjab State Farmers Commission member secretary BS Sidhu would be its member secretary.
The committee would submit its report within three months, an official spokesman said here on Wednesday.
He further said that it was the need of the hour to evolve a long-term state agriculture policy to overcome the stagnation in the sector, besides improving the economic lot of rural masses by making agriculture remunerative and economically viable.
Agriculture is the backbone of Punjab economy since it provided direct or indirect employment to about 50% of the state's population and contributes around 28% towards gross state domestic product (GSDP), he said.
However, agriculture based on rice-wheat cropping system has slowly turned into an unrewarding activity due to unfavorable price regime and lack of value addition.
The situation is likely to be further exacerbated due to increase in production of rice and wheat in other parts of the country and integration of agricultural trade with global markets.