HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

‘Farmers must get subsidies for energy-saving methods’

Rameshinder Singh Sandhu, Hindustan Times  LUDHIANA, September 03, 2014
First Published: 14:52 IST(3/9/2014) | Last Updated: 15:02 IST(3/9/2014)

India might have attained the highest per capita foodgrain availability according to the government’s latest Economic Survey, but a lot remains to be done to achieving sustainable agricultural growth, said BS Dhillon, vice chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University.

“In Punjab farmers get various subsidies but at the same time there is need to offer them incentives to use methods that conserve natural resources like, for instance, use of drip irrigation to save water and solar energy and biogas plants to save electricity,”he stated.

“Due to the growing population demand for power is also rising. If we want to conserve energy we need to use more efficient farming methods like solar or wind energy in farms.”

Meanwhile, MS Sidhu, an economist at PAU, said state governments needed to make a collective effort to address the issue of suicides by farmers. “Also, the government should ensure every farmer gets free access to training in new agricultural techniques”, he added.

Students at the varsity said the government should formulate better agricultural policies for the benefit of less privileged farmers. “Achieving the highest per capita foodgrain availability isn’t enough. Only when these major issues have been resolved can we say there has been real achievement," they added.

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