Agriculture Minister Chander Kumar, while presiding over the review meeting of the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Department here today, said that strengthening the economy of the farmers of the state is the topmost priority of the government. Concrete steps have been taken in the interest of cattle herders and farmers, including an increase in milk purchase price by rupees six, he said.
To fulfill the election guarantee, the Cow dung procurement scheme will be started in the state from January, 2024. Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has recently announced the launch of this scheme, said the Minister and added that for the success of the scheme, animal husbandry and agriculture departments should work in a synchronized way. To ensure the effective implementation of the scheme, two nodal officers from Animal Husbandry Department and Agriculture Department have been appointed. Under the scheme, clusters will be formed with the objective of benefiting small, marginal and progressive farmers and at the initial stage 250 farmers will be registered in one block.
The farmers included in the cluster will be motivated to adopt agriculture as well as allied sectors like poultry farming, cow rearing. These farmers will also be given the benefits of various schemes of the state government, said the Minister.
The cow dung purchased from farmers will be stored properly and the supply of the same will be ensured in horticulture, agricultural fields and nurseries etc, he said. Markets will be made available for organic products of the farmers and organic crops produced will be purchased at attractive prices. He said that e-booklets would be made available to farmers to make them aware of the welfare schemes and policies of the state government as well.
MLA Shahpur Kewal Singh Pathania expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister and the Agriculture Minister for the decisions being taken in the interests of farmers and horticulturists. He said that many provisions have been made by the government to increase the income of farmers besides starting innovative initiatives in the agriculture sector.
Secretary Agriculture C. Palrasu, Director Agriculture Kumud Singh, Director Animal Husbandry Dr. Pradeep Kumar Sharma and other senior officers attended the meeting.