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Big Achievement! Punjab Soil and Water Conservation Dept. Wins Top NABARD Award

Pronami Chetia
Pronami Chetia
Photo credit - Indian Express

Punjab’s soil conservation department has recently grabbed the ‘Most Consistent Performing Department’ and the ‘RIDF-21 Most Impactful Project’ awards from NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development).

Dharminder Sharma, Chief Conservator of Soils, Punjab received the awards on behalf of the department from Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal at a function organised by NABARD here.

The department of Soil and Water Conservation has installed the project “providing assured irrigation water to waterlogged areas in south western Punjab sanctioned under RIDF 21” with the aim of rejuvenating the agriculture production system by reclaiming the seasonal and permanent water-logged areas in the worst affected South-western districts of Muktsar, Fazilka and Ferozepur.

Moreover, this project has helped not only assured irrigation but also saved water and helped in improving yield and quality of farm produce, especially in these ecologically handicapped areas.

The project was approved by the NABARD in 2015-16 and is likely to be completed by June this year. The total cost of the project is Rs 60 Crore, including 10 per cent beneficiary share and 90 per cent RIDF Project share.

More than 150 community, individual lift or gravity based underground pipeline system (UGPS) projects have been laid from nearby canal, river, tubewell or any other irrigation source outlet in seasonal and permanent waterlogged areas of Muktsar, Fazilka and Ferozepur.

This project has rejuvenated the waterlogging in 7,552 hectare areas and has increased the quality and yield of farm produce by 25 per cent to 50 per cent. It has also controlled the salt accumulation and conserved irrigation water by 25 per cent to 40 per cent.

As per reports, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) on Thursday said it has projected credit requirement of Rs 2.50 lakh crore for Punjab in 2021-22. This represents an overall rise of about 9 per cent over the projections for 2020-21, Nabard Chief General Manager Rajiv Siwach said in a statement.

Of the aggregate credit potential, the share of crop loan is pegged at Rs 98,400 crore and agriculture term loan at Rs 46,800 crore, he said.

Nabard on Thursday held a state credit seminar here.

Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal outlined the potential of the goat sector and the promise of Punjab in becoming the ‘Goat State’ of the country. Such livelihood activities have the potential to support an export-based meat industry, he said.

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