Punjab on Saturday demanded Rs 5,000 crore in 12th Five year Plan for crop diversification in the state and asked the Centre to prepare a roadmap to bring the state out of wheat-paddy cultivation.
There is a need to immediately launch a technology mission for diversification of agriculture in green revolution areas with an allocation of Rs 5,000 crore for 12th Five Year Plan period,on the pattern of the mission for bringing green revolution to eastern India,Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said while holding a meeting with a Central team led by Union Agriculture Secretary Ashish Bahuguna here to hold talks on crop diversification.
He also urged Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to depute a central team for chalking out an action programme on crop diversification in Punjab. Badal also asked him to immediately constitute a joint committee comprising senior officers of the central and state governments for preparing a roadmap for diversification of agriculture in the state.
He also asked the Centre to come forward to bail out its beleaguered peasantry in this hour of crisis by incentivizing the promotion of the cultivation of alternative crops to paddy and wheat.
Now,it is the pay-back time for the Centre to help our farmers at this crucial juncture in recognition with their superb performance in the national food security,he said.
Badal also urged the Union Government to expedite the shifting of Directorate of Maize Research from Delhi to Ladhowal (Ludhiana) besides making the Borlaug Institute for South Asia functional at the earliest so as to develop Ludhiana as a hub for maize breeding.
Responding to the issues raised by the Chief Minister on the state diversification plan,Bahuguna appreciated the concerted efforts of the state government to implement the ambitious diversification plan to shift an area of 12 lakh hectares from paddy to other crops.
He announced that Amritsar would be covered for development of peri-urban cultivation of vegetables under National Vegetable Initiative for Urban Clusters.