Chandigarh, 7 September(Wishav Warta): Akali Dal MP from Anandpur Sahib and party general secretary Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra today called for the opening of the Hussainiwala border too for trade with Pakistan to give a boost to the economy of Punjab. He said the target should be to double the income of the farmers by approaching multi-pronged approach of which open trade with Pakistan would play an important role.
He was speaking at a seminar organised by the Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation and Krishi Vigyan Kendra here as part of Sankalap Se Sidhi movement. The issue was the farm sector.
Prof Chandumajra said Pakistan, the immediate market in Punjab’s neighbourhood, should be made accessible to the farmers to give a boost to the decreasing farm incomes. Hussainiwala should have integrated check post like at Attari. The arrangement should be worked out with Pakistan.
He stressed the need to reduce the cost of production of food crops, especially in Punjab where agriculture had turned unremunerative and one of the reasons for it was over mechanisation. This could be made possible by either through cooperative farming or by setting up of self-help groups or cooperative societies to rent out tractors and farm implements to the farmers. He said the use of tractor in Punjab was highly unproductive as tractor was uneconomical for small holdings.
He said farmers should be allowed free access to the global markets by removing all restrictions and trade barriers.
Yet another major issue that he focussed on was adoption of modern techniques for irrigation. With the water table going down alarmingly, irrigation had turned costly despite free power. The farmers should be provided subsidy to enable them to adopt water harvesting and conservation techniques that includes drip and sprinkler irrigation.