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Centre Government Issues Rs 64 Crore to Punjab for Crop Diversification Plan

The amount has been released to encourage farmers to produce maize, millets, and cotton instead of water-intensive paddy in the state.

Ayushi Sikarwar
Punjab Farmer
Punjab Farmer (File Image)

In order to reduce the amount of water-guzzling paddy and encourage farmers to grow maize, millets, and cotton instead, the central government has issued a Rs 64 crore crop diversification plan (CDP) in Punjab.

The programme is regarded as an expansion of the Crop Residue Management (CRM) plan, which was established four years ago for the in-situ and ex-situ management of paddy straw in an effort to deter farmers from burning rice stubble, which poses serious environmental and health risks.

While the Central ministry of agriculture has sanctioned Rs 34 crore for subsidized machinery and tools to facilitate the cultivation of crops other than paddy and Rs 30 crore for extension services and demonstrations, the state government has set a target to reduce 10 lakh hectares under paddy during five years.

The funds are being sanctioned under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).

While the Central Ministry of Agriculture has approved Rs 34 crore for subsidized equipment and tools to facilitate the cultivation of crops other than paddy and Rs 30 crore for extension services and demonstrations, the State Government has set a goal to reduce the amount of paddy-growing land by 10 lakh hectares over the next five years.

The funds have been authorized (RKVY), in accordance with the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.

Punjab grows paddy over an area of roughly 32 lakh hectares during the kharif season, and this crop requires irrigation and at least four inches of puddling when it is transplanted. The machines are eligible for up to a 50 per cent government subsidy.

In order to make it easier for farmers to grow maize, millet, and cotton, the state agriculture department has invited farmers to submit applications for the purchase of subsidized equipment, such as power nap sacks, manual and battery-operated spray pumps, tractors mounted spray, millet mills for processing jowar, bajra, and other alternative cereals, and oil mills for extracting oil from oilseeds.

Meanwhile, 1.10 lakh extra machines have been given to farmers in the state over the last five Kharif seasons after the Center released amounts totalling Rs 269 crore, Rs 273 crore, Rs 272 crore, Rs 331 crore, and Rs 270 crore in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively.

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