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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

What do farmers want? State must give aid to farmers to push diversification

Many of them want the state to prove per acre financial aid to push diversification. Farmer Jaswinder Singh Saluwal, who is also BKU (Ugrahan)'s Block General Secretary for Nabha also bats for the same.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
Updated: January 11, 2022 12:05:06 pm
The farm laws may have been cancelled, but there is nothing great about the condition of farming and we are still where we were before June 2020. (Representational)

As Punjab heads for another Assembly election, the farming community in the state is more than even clear about what it desires from the next state government. The fight against farm laws won, the farmers now want the state to do it bit to pull them out of distress.

Many of them want the state to prove per acre financial aid to push diversification. Farmer Jaswinder Singh Saluwal, who is also BKU (Ugrahan)’s Block General Secretary for Nabha also bats for the same.

Jaswinder, who hails from village Saluwal and does farming on 12 acres of land, says, “I have been growing wheat and paddy for years and tried to come out of this cycle by growing other crops but again returned to these two crops only because I faced huge losses due to lack of assured market for the other crops. When I was facing losses like any other farmer who goes for alternative crops, the state government is always missing from the field.”

He added: “The farm laws may have been cancelled, but there is nothing great about the condition of farming and we are still where we were before June 2020. Making MSP legal for every crop is our biggest demand now from the central government but we also demand from our state government that it should also help farmers by giving several incentives if farmers are opting for diversification to save the groundwater of the state.”

The farmer then pointed out Haryana’s example.

“Haryana government gives its farmers a fixed amount between Rs 7000 to 10,000 per acre if they grow crops other than the paddy or go for agro forestry but the Punjab government has hardly come up with any such scheme to promote diversification. It only talks but never supports farmers. We want an assurance from the government to support farmers in diversification,” he said, adding that if our crops except wheat and paddy, which are purchased by the center, are selling even half the price, the state government will never come into the market to support farmers but the Haryana government does. He said that the state government should make policies, and then get these executed with the help of the Center.

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