Punjab set to revolutionise dairy sector
In a bid to revitalise and give much needed impetus to the allied farming sector especially the dairy in state, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal prevailed upon Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to take special initiative for developing this sector.
Mr Badal, who had met Mr Pawar recently at New Delhi, apprised him that the state government as a part of its ambitious crop diversification program was seriously mulling to develop the dairy sector in a big way.
He pointed out that in its endeavor to diversify agriculture, the state government was giving a renewed emphasis on development of dairy farming as an economically viable alternative to rice/wheat cropping system.
Realising the need to bail out state's agrarian economy out of wheat/paddy cycle, Mr Pawar firmed up his commitment to help the state to develop dairy, fishery and animal husbandry for which he would convene a joint meeting of the senior officers of the Centre and state government at Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana on November 20.
Mr Pawar also promised to look into the feasibility of setting up of fishery research institute in Punjab to explore potential of fishery in the waterlogged areas of southern Punjab.
Mr Badal had sought the assistance of Union agriculture ministry to encourage the farmers to adopt diversification as it would go a long way in supplementing the income of the beleaguered peasantry of the state who were already on the crossroads due to negligible returns on their produce due to ever accelerating farm inputs.
He highlighted the deteriorating financial health of milk federations in view of the imposition of ban on export of milk products and stressed that central government should help the federations who were saddled with huge stocks of milk products.