Chandigarh: Acting on the directives of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the Punjab Agriculture department has so far delivered 7337 subsidized agro-machines/farm equipment to farmers for the effective scientific management of paddy residue.
Disclosing this here today, Secretary Agriculture KS Pannu said that the department was working to ensure the delivery of the machines before the onset of paddy harvesting, in line with the Chief Minister’s commitment to the elimination of the menace of stubble burning from the state. All the Deputy Commissioners had been directed to aggressively pursue the campaign to end stubble burning – a major cause for pollution in the north India.
Under the scheme, subsidy of 50% was being provided to individual farmers, and 80% to the cooperative societies and CHCs, said Pannu. In all, 24315 machines shall be supplied to farmers and coop societies this season.
Giving details of the latest deliveries, Pannu said 2819 machines/equipment had been given to individual farmers, 2144 to cooperative societies and 2374 to Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) across the state. The equipment included the latest Happy Seeder, Paddy Straw Chopper/Cutter, Mulcher, RMB Plough, Shrub Cutter, Zero Till Drill, Super Straw Management System on Combine Harvesters, Rotary Slasher and Rotavator.
The Secretary Agriculture further pointed out that as part of the Chief Minister’s visionary campaign to control stubble burning, the Punjab Agriculture department has already launched a 360 degree media campaign to sensitize the farmers about the ill-effects of stubble burning. As a sequel to this programme, the department has organized nearly 1000 camps across the state to educate the farmers against stubble burning, which was not only a health hazard but also a serious threat for the environment.
Realizing the enormous potential of creating awareness amongst the general masses about the harmful effects of paddy straw burning, Pannu said that the Agriculture department, in collaboration with the School Education department, would soon involve the students as part of a state-wide campaign against stubble burning.
Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Viswajeet Khanna was personally monitoring the progress of the implementation of the corrective steps being taken for In-Situ Crop Residue Management, on day-to-day basis, by holding regular meetings with the senior officers of the department.