Capt Amarinder Singh seeks WB support for crop diversification
The chief minister made the request during a meeting with a World Bank delegation led by Dr Juergen Voegele, global director, agriculture and waterUpdated: Oct 29, 2019, 23:29 IST
Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday sought the World Bank’s technological and financial support to help the Punjab farmers shift from the conventional wheat-paddy cycle to a diversified cropping pattern for income enhancement and water conservation.
The chief minister made the request during a meeting with a World Bank delegation led by Dr Juergen Voegele, global director, agriculture and water. He said that many farmers were adopting alternative crops by shunning wheat and paddy cultivation due to incentives offered by the state government, but needed technological and financial support.
Amarinder directed the state agriculture department to come out with a blueprint of crop iversification and ground water saving projects for submission to the World Bank for their technological and financial support. He also urged the World Bank to provide support for promotion of fruit and livestock exports in Punjab, as it had done in Uzbekistan. The delegation members were asked to share their experiences and innovations to complement the state’s efforts to protect its ground water table.
The CM mooted de-coupling of farm subsidies from production and underlined the need for an efficient marketing mechanism to incentivise farmers towards crop diversification. He told the delegation that as part of its initiatives to strengthen the support mechanism for farmers, the state government would introduce the amended Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act (APMC) in the state assembly soon and rules for the amendments, aimed at market reforms, had already been finalized.
Underscoring the significance of having in place an efficient data base, Amarinder also asked the agriculture department to also devise a permanent mechanism for collation of analytical work in the farming sector, in order to leverage the same for successful implementation of policies. The issue of stubble burning also came up during the meeting and the chief minister said the farmers needed to be incentivised through cost compensation by the central government to make the campaign against the harmful practice a success.