CHANDIGARH: With a view to make Punjab a ‘zero stubble burning state’, the Punjab Agriculture Department has initiated a massive drive to provide more than 25000 agro-machines/farm equipment to farmers for in-situ management of paddy residue with subsidy component of Rs. 250 crore during the current fiscal.
Disclosing this here today, Director Agriculture Sukhdev Singh Sidhu said that the Department had already sanctioned about 430 applications of Cooperative Societies and Panchayats on priority for Balers & primary sowing machines. In first phase, sanctions of agro-machines have been issued to 246 Panchayats and 185 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) at a subsidy of 80% to establish Farm Machinery Banks (FMBs) to be used as Custom Hiring Centres.
He also informed that subsidy ranging from 50% to 80% is being offered to the farmers under the scheme with 80 percent subsidy to cooperative societies and farmers groups while 50 percent is for individuals. The machinery portal is being reopened from August 2-4, 2021 only for Panchayats, Cooperative societies and FPOs to give them one more opportunity to avail the benefit of these subsidized agri-equipments, said the Director.
The State government has focused to deliver state-of-the-art machines to farmers including Super SMS, Happy Seeder, Paddy Straw Chopper/Shredder/Mulcher, Hydraulic Reversible Mould Board Plough and Zero Till Drill.
The Director also stated that in order to supply the requisite machinery to farmers, the Agriculture Department has fully geared up to complete the task of distribution of these implements well before paddy harvesting season.
Mr. Sidhu further said that the Agriculture Department has already initiated Information Education Communication (IEC) activities to educate farmers about the ill-effects of paddy straw burning adding the department organized 1015 Training-cum-Awareness Camps for awareness against stubble burning and promotion of DSR techniques. This awareness campaign was primarily aimed at imparting training to farmers and practical demonstration of equipments for In-Situ Crop Residue Management.
He also urged the farmers to make optimum use of subsidized agri-machinery to do away the practice of stubble burning thereby ensuring health and hygiene of the people besides preserving the environment of the state.
Notably, the Paddy has been brought down to 27 lac hectares of land in Punjab.
76622 SUBSIDIZED AGRI-MACHINES DELIVERED UP TO LAST YEARS
During 2018-2019, 2019-20 and 2020-21, as many as 76622 specialized equipment/machines including Balers have been provided to farmers and Custom Hiring Centres across the State on 50% to 80% subsidy for In-situ & ex-situ management. Out of 76622 machines, as many as 49196 machines have been provided to the 19834 Custom Hiring Centres in Panchayats / Cooperative Societies and other CHCs established by farmers as groups/ societies and remaining 27426 to Individual Farmers.