Punjab CM bats for minimum support price legal guarantee

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Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal on Sunday claimed that the income of the farmer in the state was steadily increasing even as Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann stressed the need to make the price of minimum support (MSP) for crops a legal guarantee during the national council meeting of NITI Ayog.

“Our agricultural growth rate is around 3.3% per year. Productivity is high in the state which is ₹1.57 lakh per hectare. The state’s growth rate is about 8.7%, while the country’s labor productivity growth rate is 3.3% – these figures indicate that the income of the farmer in the State is constantly increasing. The share of horticulture and animal husbandry is increasing in the agricultural sector,” Mr. Lal said, adding that the use of latest technologies and crop diversification are being encouraged in Haryana.

In his address, Mr. Mann said that making MSP on crops a legal guarantee is the need of the hour so that farmers’ interests can be safeguarded. In addition, MSP must be remunerative because the cost of agricultural inputs has increased and farmers are not getting the right price for their crop, he said.

Mr Mann rejected the committee on the MSP set up by the Indian government and demanded that it be reconstituted with what he called ‘real farmers’ as members. He said the current committee is dominated by parlor economists who have no knowledge of agriculture. Agriculture experts as well as all stakeholders should be appointed as members of this committee, he said.

Crop diversification

Mr. Mann said crop diversification is urgently needed to take farmers out of the wheat-paddy cropping cycle on the one hand, while on the other hand, there is a need to save the level of groundwater that s ‘exhaust. He said out of a total of 150 blocks, the water level in 117 blocks is in the dark zone in Punjab.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said the state government is implementing a ₹1,010 crore “Himachal Pradesh Crop Diversification Programme” in all districts. He said 31,584 arborists in the state were covered by state-sponsored schemes, while 4.15 lakh arborists benefited from state-sponsored schemes in the past four and a half years. He said that to double farmers’ income, 3,590 ‘gram panchayats’ were covered by ‘Prakritik Kheti Khushal Kisan Yojna’, adding that farmers saved about ₹9.75 crore by switching to natural manure instead of chemical fertilizers.

“The share of horticulture and animal husbandry is increasing in the agricultural sector”Manohar Lal Chief Minister of Haryana

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