Aug. 1, 2019
In order to save water consumed for growing wheat and paddy, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh asked the Planning Board to chalk out a comprehensive crop diversification model. The board has also been directed to undertake a detailed review of schemes of the state agriculture department in the sector.
Presiding over an interactive session with the members of the board on 30 July 2019, the CM directed the planning department to set up a centralised data analysis and monitoring division for collation of data related to the various agricultural schemes in the state. He said that this would help in ensuring quality policy and decision-making, besides concurrent monitoring and end-of-project evaluation of all government welfare schemes.
Expressing concern over the fast depleting water table, CM underlined the need to prioritize less water consuming crops, beginning with maize, cotton and sugarcane. He asked the board to come up with a strategy to convince farmers to shift to these crops from the traditional wheat and paddy.
Finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal suggested that there should be ban on cultivation of paddy on Panchayat land auctioned for agricultural purposes.
The Vice Chairman of Planning Board, Rajinder Gupta, suggested focusing more on standardisation of the produce to make it more competitive in the international market.
Ajay Vir Jakhar who is chairman of Punjab state Farmers commission underlined the need to give more powers to Markfed Punjab and Punjab Agro Industries Corporation to push marketing of fresh vegetable produce.
KVS Sidhu raised rationalisation of farm subsidies to ensure equitable allocation of state resources for the agriculture development.