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Chandigarh: Exuberating with results of the Pilot Project of Surface Seeder, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Thursday gave his consent to subsidize Surface Seeders developed by Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana under Crop Residue Management (CRM) Scheme for better management of crop residue across the state.

Announcing to provide 50% subsidy on this newly developed technique, the Chief Minister said that in view of the results of the pilot project implemented at Satauj (Sangrur), the Surface Seeders proved its worth to manage the crop residue and the state government has decided to include Surface Seeder under CRM Scheme to subsidize the equipment, Bhagwant Singh Mann said that a machine costs Rs. 80,000 and after 50% subsidy it will cost Rs. 40,000 to the farmers.

Lauding the efforts of the Agriculture Department and PAU about the Crop Residue Management in a meeting with agriculture officials, the Chief Minister said that Punjab Agriculture University recommended the Surface Seeders to be included under CRM scheme. He informed that the process for empanelment of manufacturers for supplying the machinery under the scheme is being done by PAU, Ludhiana. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the individual farmers/Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies/ Registered Farmers Groups/Farmer Producer Organizations/Panchayats can apply for purchasing various CRM machines and also for establishing Custom Hiring Centre (CHC).

The Chief Minister further said that under the scheme the equipment such as Super SMS, Super Seeder, Smart Seeder, Happy Seeder, Zero Till Drill, Paddy Straw Chopper/Shredder/Mulcher, Hydraulic Reversible Mould Board Plough, Shrub Master/Rotary Slasher, Crop Reaper, Balerand Rakeare available on subsidy @ 50% of the cost of the equipment/machine or a maximum amount approved by Union Government in the guidelines. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the CHC can be established with an investment of Rs.15 lakhs and any of the above machines can be purchased by the CHCs @ 80% subsidy.

The Chief Minister further informed that a total of 65421 applications for 152300 various CRM equipments have been received so far and no stone would be left unturned to save the environment with complete control on crop residue burning. He said that the state government has been strengthening and establishing collection infrastructure, bailing, transportation and handling of large amount of crop residue and creation of storage facilities. He said that the state government has started to utilize the paddy straw in different industries such as biomass power generation units, Biomass co-firing in Thermal Power Plants, Bio-CNG and Bio-Ethanol etc. Bhagwant Singh Mann also announced to organize next edition of Kisan Melas throughout the state soon.



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