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In recognition of the outstanding services and innovative initiatives taken by the progressive farmers, the Punjab government has launched ‘Scheme for Recognition and Awards to Persons Engaged in Agriculture and Allied Sectors’ to honour such farmers with the cash prize of Rs. 3 lac, Rs. 2 lac and Rs.1 lac respectively from each category on the basis of selection by the six member committee headed by Chairman, Punjab State Farmer’s Commission Dr. G.S. Kalkat.
The selection committee has been mandated to give its recommendations by April every year and honour the farmers who had immensely contributed for developing innovative farm practices, thereby drifting from the traditional agriculture for the promotion of farm diversification. These farmers would be honoured with a cash prize and a ‘Letter of Commendation’ by the state government with an objective to showcase them as role models for the other farmers especially the young ones to reap maximum benefits from their vast experience and innovative expertise.
Punjab CM Mr. Parkash Singh Badal also recommended that the success stories of these innovative farmers should must be widely publicised at government, non-government and media so that the young farmers could replicate these to make agriculture far more economic viable and self-sustainable profession.
Such farmers who had successfully excelled in the production of kinnow, guava, litchi, pear, strawberry, potato, citrus species, protected cultivation, mushroom, basmati, sugarcane, maize, pulses, soya bean, cotton, oil seeds, fruits and vegetables, besides bee-keeping, dairy farming, fishery, goatry, poultry and piggery would be honoured.
To honour the progressive dairy farmers in a befitting manner, the Chief Minister also decided to have three different categories of buffalos, cows and indigenous (desi) cows in dairy farming sector. Apart from this, innovative farmers associated with any sort of the best farm practices/technologies such as Post-harvest Management, Management and Use of Agriculture Residue (Paddy Straw), intelligent Irrigation System and Organic Farming would also be honoured under an exclusive category of ‘Innovative farming’.
The Chief Minister also approved to have further sub-categories; firstly of small & marginal farmers and landless farmers/labour, secondly, farmers/cultivators having land above five acres to honor them separately.
The other members of the committee include Vice Chancellor Punjab Agriculture University Dr. BS Dhillon, Vice Chancellor Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana Dr. AS Nanda, Advisor Animal Husbandry Dr. BK Uppal, Progressive farmer from Hoshiarpur Mr. Kulwant Singh, while Secretary Punjab State Farmers’ Commission Dr. BS Sidhu would be its member convener.