Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s China visit has come in for criticism from industrialists across sectors. While dairy farmers urged China to take lessons from them, bicycle industrialists said they are ‘competent enough.’ Polyhouse farmers, however, are clueless about plans of Sukhbir regarding growing ‘Chinese’ vegetables. Overall, Sukhbir’s China visit may have buoyed big industrial houses but failed to enthuse small and medium industrialists and even the progressive farmers.
Daljeet Singh Sadarpura, president of progressive dairy farmers association, Punjab said, “I read in newspapers that Sukhbir visited some dairy farmers plants in China in the name of ‘technology exchange.’ However, he is not aware that China entered dairy farming in a serious way about five-seven years ago only, earlier they were importing milk products as Chinese lifestyle does involve much use of milk products. In fact, Punjab’s dairy farming meets world-class standards and today our cows produce 9,000 litres milk in 305 days compared to American cows which produce 10,000 litres in the same duration. So we are close to them. And hence we are capable of giving lessons to Chinese, rather than learning from them.”
G S Kang, another progressive dairy farmer based in Phidde village of Ferozepur, added, “While wrong policies of the Punjab government have diminished the prospects of Punjab’s dairy industry and instead of improving it, the Deputy CM is keen in copying China’s dairy farming who are still taking baby steps in this direction.”
Sukhbir also took a keen interest in the agricultural practices of China and had given a press statement that China would assist Punjab farmers in growing vegetables that will be useful in Chinese food products. “ We are not aware of this plan and once it is unfolded we will be able to comment upon it. As of now, we think that it is much ado about nothing. Such castles in air are expected in the election year.”