IEP Chandigarh, March 29
Punjab Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal has ordered all the field officers of the Agriculture Department to send the actual data of crops damaged due to rain in the past at the earliest. During a meeting with top officials of the Agriculture Department and Chief Agriculture Officers at Punjab Bhawan, Dhaliwal said that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has already announced that compensation for crop damage will be started around Baisakhi, so Chief Agriculture officers should present the real picture of the problem before the state government. He said that it should be ensured that the actual data is sent quickly without any recommendation and without causing trouble to the farmers. On this occasion, Dhaliwal, taking serious notice of fake fertilizers and fake pesticides, announced that soon a separate complaint number will be issued for the convenience of farmers, where they can file a complaint in this regard. He issued special instructions to the officials to resolve such complaints in a timely manner. He said that there will be no compromise on the quality of fertilizers and pesticides and the culprits will not be spared at any cost. He ordered the officials to sensitize the farmers to buy quality seeds recommended by Punjab Agricultural University which have the capacity to withstand natural calamities. Dhaliwal also gave special instructions to the officials for the upcoming wheat procurement season. He said that farmers should be encouraged not to burn stubble and also ensure that straw is used only for fodder. He also asked to organize awareness camps for farmers. He said that the Punjab government is making serious efforts to increase the area of cotton and the farmers of cotton belt will be given seeds at 33 percent subsidy. He asked the officials that maximum number of farmers should be encouraged to buy seeds on subsidy and cultivate cotton. He said that according to the announcement made by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, irrigation water will be given to the farmers of cotton on time. Apart from this, the Minister of Agriculture instructed that maximum number of farmers should be encouraged to plant seeds of PR 126 variety of paddy which requires less time and less water. He said that the field officials should intensify their efforts from now to bring maximum area under PR 126 variety of paddy this year. He said that the authorities should select the areas which are more suitable for direct sowing of paddy and encourage the farmers there for direct sowing. Dhaliwal said that the agricultural policy of the state is being prepared under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to strengthen the welfare of farmers and the economy. For this purpose suggestions have been sought from the general public. He told the field officers that if there is a successful or progressive farmer in their area, suggestions should be sought from him. On this occasion, he categorically asserted that the state government has adopted a zero tolerance policy against the corrupts said no corrupt or bribe-taking official will be spared at any cost. He said that the welfare of farmers should be the priority of all officials. Principal Secretary of Agriculture Department Sumer Singh Gurjar, Director Gurvinder Singh, Chief Agriculture Officers of all districts and other senior officials of the Head Office were present on this occasion.