Praful Chander Nagpal
Fazilka, March 4
The Vidhan Sabha Committee to review suicide by farmers and landless labourers will present its report in the Assembly during the Budget session scheduled later this month.
Committee chairman Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and member Nathu Ram, Balluana MLA, recently toured Gujarat to gather facts on how to increase the income of farmers. They said the committee had prepared the report and it would be tabled in the House during the upcoming Budget session.
Besides Sarkaria and Nathu Ram, MLA Nazar Singh Manshahia, OSD to CM Gurkirat Singh Ghuman, Fazilka’s progressive horticulturist Ravi Dhingra and some government officials visited Kutch district in Gujarat to acquaint themselves with new techniques of cultivation and diversification.
Talking to The Tribune, Nathu Ram said the committee members were surprised to see a 35-acre stone surface farmhouse where the farmer had cultivated dates after digging 5-6 feet deep pits. They also monitored the fields of pomegranate and kesari mango. The farmers in Gujarat have been earning a minimum profit of Rs3-4 lakh per acre by opting for cash crops despite paucity of water.
“The farmers are left with no alternative, but to diversify to cash crops and horticulture to prevent situations that could lead them to distress,” said Nathu Ram. The committee, however, refused to divulge the details of the outcome and recommendations.
The committee members had visited Gujarat on the recommendation of progressive farmer Dhingra during the committee’s tour to his agriculture fields at Mohammad Pira village last month.
The members had also visited the families of debt-ridden farmers who had committed suicide in Punjab in the last few months.
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