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Punjab Government To Distribute Over 25,000 Agricultural Machines

The Punjab agricultural department has launched a drive to offer more than 25,000 agri-machines and farm equipment to farmers for in-situ paddy residue management.

Chintu Das
Paddy Farming
Paddy Farming

In this fiscal, the Punjab Agricultural Department has launched a drive to offer more than 25,000 agri-machines and farm equipment to farmers for in-situ paddy residue management, with a subsidy component of Rs 250 crore.

Agriculture director Sukhdev Singh Sidhu said on Sunday that the department had already approved roughly 430 applications for balers and basic sowing machines from cooperative societies and panchayats.

In the 1st phase, agro-machines were sanctioned at a subsidy of 80% to 246 panchayats and 185 primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) to construct Farm Machinery Banks (FMBs) that would serve as Custom Hiring Centres.

Farmers will be eligible for subsidies ranging from 50% to 80% under the scheme, according to him.

“From August 2-4, the machinery portal will be reopened for panchayats, cooperative societies, and FPOs to provide them another chance to profit from these subsidized agri-equipment,” the director added.

Farmers have received state-of-the-art machines such as the Super SMS, happy seeder, paddy straw cutter, shredder, mulcher, hydraulic reversible mould board plough, and zero till drill from the state government.

Sidhu went on to say that the Agriculture Department has already started Information Education Communication (IEC) operations to teach farmers about the dangers of paddy straw burning, and that the Department has held 1,015 Training-cum-Awareness Camps to raise awareness about stubble burning and promote DSR practices. “The primary goal of this awareness campaign is to provide farmers with training and practical demonstrations of equipment for in-situ crop residue management,” he stated. 

He also urged farmers to make the best use of subsidized agricultural machinery in order to eliminate the practice of stubble burning. This year, the acreage under paddy has decreased significantly, to 27 lakh hectares.

Farmers and Custom Hiring Centers across the state received 76,622 specialized equipment/machines, including balers, on a 50 percent to 80 percent subsidy for in-situ and ex-situ management during 2018-2019, 2019-20, and 2020-21. The remaining machines were distributed to individual farmers, with 49,196 machines going to 19,834 Custom Hiring Centres.

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