Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday announced a grant of Rs 77 lakh to a self-help group Sada Shiv Modern (SSM) to expand into an agro-based industry.
The CM handed over a cheque of the announced grant to SSM members during his visit to this village after observing the functioning of the self-help group.
"The members have made the laudable achievements with their hard work and a proposal was put forth by a team of experts from Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana, to upscale it as an agro-based industry," he announced.
He said that the Punjab government was well aware of the fact that due to exorbitant hike in prices of agricultural inputs, farmers in the state were in financial distress. So, he said, the need of the hour was to enhance their income by promoting agro-processing industry.
"The grant will be used to set up a building and to erect a submersible pump for water supply, godowns for raw material and finished products, conveyance to sell produce, in general for the entire infrastructure required to meet the needs of agro-based industry," the chief minister further added.
"On behalf of state government, I assure the members of all possible help. All female members of this self-help group would be sent for training in food processing to University of Mysore in Karnataka," he said.
The self-help group started functioning in 2003 with the SSM brand name and is currently producing pickles, chutneys, squashes, preservers, juices, and trifala etc and using Kisan melas and other exhibitions to sell produce.
The CM, on this occasion, also instructed accompanying representatives of Dabur India to take care of marketing needs of the produce.
"Dabur representatives have assured on proper marketing of the produce and have planned to introduce new production ideas, techniques and products to the self-help group," revealed the CM.
Deputy commissioner Hoshiarpur Deepinder Singh said that a society had been formed to take care of working, modalities and selling of agro-based industry to be set up with government aid and all members of this self-help group had been taken as members. "Besides them, experts in respective areas and members of other active self-help groups have been included in the society," he said.
Overwhelmed with joy, a SSM member Renu Sharma said, "The feeling is really encouraging and it seems that our efforts have been recognised. All members of our self-help group express our thanks to the government."
CM announces 50% subsidy on agro processing units
Terming it as a next generation revolution, Badal, who was here to interact with members of a self help group, said that to encourage investment in agro-processing units, it was decided to give 50% subsidy on such units in future.
The state government was aware that exorbitant hike in the prices of the agricultural inputs had rendered the farmers in financial distress. “We need to enhance income of the farmers by promoting the agro processing industry since value addition of the products brings huge profits,” he said.