Ludhiana, September 29
The much-awaited agricultural policy is likely to be released on October 16, which also coincides with the birth anniversary of Banda Singh Bahadur.
Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Gurmeet Singh Khudian, who was in Ludhiana to attend a consultation meet with key stakeholders on “Crop Residue Management” at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), said the state would get its agricultural policy on October 16, which apart from taking care of farmers would also lay emphasis on the research.
“The policy will also have a provision to allocate funds to the PAU and veterinary university for carrying out research activities,” he said.
He urged the farmers to adopt technology to tackle stubble-burning and crop diversification.
“The Department of Agriculture and the PAU should synchronise their efforts and revitalise agricultural extension system to meet the ever-evolving needs of the farming community,” he said.
Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said it was essential to curb the practice of burning crop residue and identify obstacles hindering the progress.
To address these challenges, including a large amount of paddy residue and the limited timeframe for sowing wheat, Gosal proposed to increase the baler capacity, deployment of more machinery in high- burning areas and active involvement of cooperative societies.
“The heat generated due to the farm fires penetrates into the soil. This causes nutrient deficiency as well as loss of useful microbes and moisture,” he said.
Dr Inderjeet Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, said, the need of the hour was in-situ management of crop residue. He said the same residue could be used as animal feed, which multiplies milk production.
“The milk production has witnessed an increase from 1,300 kg last year to 2,300 kg this year,” said Dr Inderjeet.
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