Aiming at improvement in the agricultural and horticultural sector, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir would work together, informed Agriculture Minister Punjab, Jathedar Tota Singh after a meeting with Mr. Daljit Singh Chibb, the Vice Chairman of Farmers Advisory Board, J & K. In a meeting held here today at the Punjab Civil Secretariat, both the leaders shared their views on pro farmer initiatives undertaken in both the states and the befitting strategy to meet the future challenges.
Informing about the purpose of visit, Mr. Chibb said that he came to gather more info about the practices prevalent in the agriculture sector in Punjab as it has emerged as the frontrunner state in the agriculture sector in the country. He added that it is due to the contribution of Punjab that the country has ample food grain reserves.Appreciating the state government's efficient procurement system for lifting the crops, Mr. Chibb said that in J & K farmers fail to get even the Minimum Support Price (MSP )where as in Punjab they reap profits.
He said that due to lack of state procurement of paddy in Jammu in Kashmir the crop was procured on an average at Rs 700 to 800 per quintal, so he desires to emulate Punjab Procurement Model in Jammu and Kashmir and thereby reassure the full value of crops to the farmers. He also appreciated that besides the centre government agency, FCI, five agencies of the state are also involved in the procurement process.On this occasion, Jathedar Tota Singh extended an invitation to Mr. Chibb to come to Punjab during the procurement period and witness the procedure in person. Terming, the establishment of Citrus Estate farmers in Hoshiarpur and establishing with the help of Israel, the modern center for the production of vegetables at Kartarpur as a gainful proposition for the farmers, Mr. Chibb and expressed a desire to bring the farmers from J& K to visit these centres.Jathedar Tota Singh informed that the Punjab government provides free electricity to farmers and in lieu of this every year the State Government pays Punjab Powercom around Rs 5,500 crore, which in turn has led to strengthening of the economic conditions of the farmers.
He also said to avoid the purchase of additional tractors, the small farmers in Punjab are being provided with tractors through cooperative societies. The Agriculture Minister, Punjab applauded the better arrangements in horticulture sector in Jammu and Kashmir. He suggested a farmers exchange program between the two states so that they should be able to take advantage of better management of agriculture and horticulture sectors in both the States. He said that Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana will also help in this process.Mr. Chibb also invited the Minister of Agriculture, Punjab to the Farmers Festival to be organized by the Jammu and Kashmir government. Jathedar Tota Singh asked him to send a group of their successful farmers to Punjab so that they may share their experiences with the farmers of Punjab.Besides others, Mr. Vivek Pratap Singh, Secretary Agriculture department, Dr. Jasvir Singh Bains, Director Agriculture and Dr. Gurkanwal Singh Director Horticulture were also present on the occasion.