In the 3rd session of the Punjab Dialogue with farmers today at Guru Nanak Auditorium here Dairy Farming has emerged as a game changer in the farmers’ suicide ridden state to bring peasantry out of the vicious circle of wheat-paddy cycle.Head of the Punjab Dialogue and senior journalist Kanwar Sandhu along with head of the farmers’ wing of the AAP, GS Kang and senior party leader Chander Suta Dogra gave a patient hearing to the gathering of the farmers to know the issues to be incorporated in the AAP’s poll manifesto for the forthcoming assembly elections in Punjab.Dairy farming with the well coordinated cooperative movement emerged as one of the key solutions for the currently debt-ridden peasantry of the state. Most of the dairy farmers rued that due to state government’s apathy and lack of support, dairy farming could not have emerged as even an option of diversification from traditional farming.Kanwar Sandhu said upcoming AAP Government in the state would not only strengthen the cooperative movement for Dairy farming, but also rope in some field experts to chalk out an extensive and comprehensive policy to bring white revolution in Punjab.
“Farming is treated not only as a mean to earn livelihood in Punjab, but it is very much related to basic culture of the border state, which used to be famous for “Doodh te Putt” (Milk and Sons). Unfortunately, both of these have been ruined by the Akalis, as ‘Doodh’ is being adulterated in Punjab and ‘Putt” are under trap of drug abuse patronage by them ”, Sandhu said adding that once Punjab used to be number one in the Dairy farming, but now it stands at 4th place in milk production.While other states like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are providing easy loans for dairy farming, but in Punjab such a facility is being denied to farmers indulged in dairy farming, Sandhu claimed advocating the need of constitution of Dairy Development Board in the state.Harinder Singh, a progressive dairy farmer, said although Punjab Dairy Farmers Association is doing well, but due to lack by the state government’s support, technology of dairy farming still needs a lot of improvement.He claimed in the garb of curbing the illegal slaughtering, Dairy farmers are being harassed by police, and demanded that every farmer, who buy or sell their animals, should be given a certificate for transportation to avoid such harassment.
Another farmer, Gursewak Singh rued that although there are cooperative societies for dairy farming, but due to political influence in the management of these societies, benefits are being extended to only nears and dears of Akalis.Kanwar Sandhu said upcoming AAP Government would make it compulsory for schools to include Milk and its subsidiary products as part of diet of kids, so that it would not only improve the health of students, but also increase the demands of milk in the state.Farmers raised their concerns of inadequate Doctors, Vaccine and good quality of semen to develop dairy farming.Sandhu said "Now, the challenge was to take new technology to small dairy farmers. Since small dairy owners cannot afford to import expensive semen straws of progeny-tested bulls, AAP Government will develop a pedigree of the best bulls and start providing farmers their semen at lower cost."The high-yielding varieties of cows will encourage progressive farmers to opt for diversification and will also strengthen dairy production, Sandhu added.