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Forming associations may end woes of farmers, say students

The students of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), who are directly associated with agriculture and allied activities, have hailed irrigation secretary Kahan Singh Pannu’s recommendation to make farmer associations at various levels to uplift farming and get its various issues addressed on a swift note.

punjab Updated: Jan 05, 2015 12:30 IST
Rameshinder Singh Sandhu
Rameshinder Singh Sandhu
Hindustan Times

The students of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), who are directly associated with agriculture and allied activities, have hailed irrigation secretary Kahan Singh Pannu’s recommendation to make farmer associations at various levels to uplift farming and get its various issues addressed on a swift note.

Pannu, who is also the managing director of Punjab Agro Industries Corporation Ltd, was at PAU on Saturday to attend Kisan Sammelan where he suggested the farmers to form associations. He was of the opinion that the culture of associations is one of the best ways to address many issues of farming.

On Sunday, in an interaction with a group of students from both the universities, the students opined that other than just relying on government for every help, the associations from different villages can give them a bigger and united platform to exchange ideas, scale up their work, get their issues addressed to the government with collective strength and can most importantly, support each other in the hours of crisis.

Akashdeep Singh Beniwal, a final year student of M Tech in Dairy Technolog y from GADVASU, said, “Our state is inundated with many examples where a single farmer despite support from his children has not been able to see any economic growth in his life.

Years pass by, and all his issues and complaints to the government go unaddressed but if the same farmer is part of a big farming association, the story can be all together different as it can also help him scale up his work, be it raising a small dairy farm to a big one followed by selling milk and various milk products through value addition process. This is possible with support of the association members which must include some experts for guidance.” His counterparts also concede with him.

Harsimran Singh, third year student of Bachelor in Veterinary Sciences from GADVASU, said, “I am already associated with a Ludhianabased association ‘ Kudrat Bachao Leher’ which is about three years old where I have seen farmer members getting benefitted in many ways. This association holds regular meetings with its members through which it aims to create awareness on farming. This saves farmers from many losses which farmers usually make due to lack of knowledge.” Singh further shared that through the meetings, they also collect their grievances and later address to government collectively.

Karanvir Singh Sandhu, student representative and final year student of BSc in Agriculture, PAU, underlined that the state had already seen some associations coming up including Progressive Dairy Farmers Association but there is a need for more such associations in every part of the state.

“Farming associations are very common in Europe, Australia and New Zealand and have tasted huge success and seeing the current scenario of agriculture in Punjab, forming farmers groups is need of the hour. However, these associations should be formed also as per each cropping season and as per various activities of farming. For instance, during paddy or wheat season, there must be specific associations and for fisheries or dairy there should be separate associations”, said Sandhu who also opined that these associations with support from government should also come up with magazines on agriculture and regular exhibitions to give birth to more awareness.

According to thet students, the village panchayat heads, agricultural development officers and agricultural universities can play a major role in boosting farmers in setting up associations.

First Published: Jan 05, 2015 12:26 IST