Lauding the efforts of Punjab Government led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for encouraging the farming community to adopt in-situ crop residue management, the Union Agriculture Ministry on Monday felicitated 10 farmers from Punjab, who have pioneered in adopting the innovative techniques for crop residue management, during National Conference of Farmers held here.Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala honoured these farmers namely Dr. Harminder Singh Sidhu of village Jalaldiwal in Ludhiana, Gurinder Singh Gill of village Kanoi in Sangrur, Jagtar Singh Brar of village Mehma Sarja in Bathinda, Narinder Singh of Buh Havelian in Tarn Tarn, Sukhjit Singh of village Diwala in Ludhiana, Bhupinder Singh of Badanpur village in Mohali, Bir Dalwinder Singh of Kalar Majri in Patiala, Balwinder Singh of Gharangna village in Mansa, Gurdyal Singh of village Salopur in Gurdaspur district, and Harwinder Singh Baring of Kothe Gobindpura in Barnala. More than 500 innovative and progressive farmers from Punjab participated in this national conference organized by the Government of India on crop residue management at NASC Complex, New Delhi aiming at eliminating the menace of stubble burning besides creating awareness among farming community. The experts from Punjab Agriculture University, Punjab Agriculture Department and other department and organizations from Punjab and particularly progressive farmers of the state also shared their experiences on the occasion. A large number of farmers from other states also participated in this conference.
Director Agriculture Punjab, Dr.S K. Airi said that it was a sign of positive approach being adopted by the Punjab farmers to come forward for applying the innovative techniques for in-situ crop residue management to curb the menace of stubble burning.`Punjab Government has already launched a massive campaign to check stubble burning in the state. With the concerted efforts of State Government and various departments the stubble burning had been reduced remarkably than the previous years. It was of pivotal importance that farmers themselves were becoming role models to sensitize the other farmers to adopt these techniques`` added Director Agriculture.
He further revealed that with a view to making Punjab a ‘zero stubble burning state’, the State Agriculture Department had last year provided more than 28000 agro-machines/farm equipment to farmers with subsidy component of Rs. 269 crore for in-situ management of paddy residue. While in current fiscal year 22000 machines would be provided with subsidy component of Rs. 274 crore. Subsidy ranging from 50% to 80% is being also provided to the farmers under the scheme. He further informed that the department was going to establish 5000 new custom hiring centers with that the total number of such centers would be more than 9000. State`s Nodal Officer for Crop Residue Management and Joint Director Agriculture Mr. Manmohan Kalia said that the Agriculture Department had also launched Information Education Communication (IEC) activities to educate farmers about the ill-effects of paddy straw burning. This awareness campaign is primarily aimed at imparting training to farmers and practical demonstration of equipments for In-Situ Crop Residue Management to encourage them for refraining from stubble burning.Sukhjit Singh of village Diwala in Ludhiana, who was one of the ten farmers who got honoured from Union Minister, said, `` we are encouraging other farmers to adopt crop residue management techniques to maintain the fertility of agricultural land besides considerable cutting in agri-costs.