Punjab agriculture minister Jathedar Tota Singh on Tuesday announced that the Punjab peasantry would get eight-hour uninterrupted power supply daily from June 15 in the ensuing paddy sowing season.
While reviewing arrangements for the sowing of crops in the kharif season, the minister said necessary instructions had been issued to the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL). He added that if there would be any change in the power supply schedule, village sarpanches, panches and agriculture officers of various districts would inform farmers well in time.
Issuing strict directions to all chief agriculture officers, district agriculture officers and other senior officers concerned of the department, Jathedar Tota Singh told them to ensure completion of all arrangements before the commencement of the kharif season.
Giving a call to Punjab’s farmers to get the soil of their fields tested from government labs in their respective areas, he said farmers should be aware about the deficiency of essential ingredients in the soil. He said farmers should opt for certified seeds as the state had ample availability of seeds, including paddy, maize and cotton. He added that more than 70% urea and 60% DAP (diammonium phosphate) was available in the state.
The minister also emphasised the need to focus on the Crop Diversification Programme, Farm Mechanisation and Value Addition Component Scheme to implement diversification on a large scale. He stated that under this scheme, 21,576 agri-machines worth Rs 38.10 crore had been distributed among farmers in the state.
He also asked officers present at the meeting to organise farmer awareness and training camps to acquaint them with government policies and programmes.
Prominent among those present at the meeting were additional chief secretary Suresh Kumar; director, agriculture, Mangal Singh Sandhu; and Mandi Board secretary Dipinder Singh.