Chandigarh, May 25, 2022 (Yes Punjab News)
A special meeting of the ‘Kirti Kisan Forum’ of former IAS, IPS, Provincial Services and Army officers was held for expert and serious discussions on the challenges facing agriculture and rural development of Punjab and to find possible solutions.
Among the points discussed were reasons for falling ground water level, crop diversification, minimum support prices for commodities, crop damage due to climate change, urge to settle abroad, suicides in farm sector. Eminent agriculture and food expert Mr Davinder Sharma was also present and he delivered a talk of global agriculture and food scenarios and minimum assured income for farmers in the country.
Presiding over the meeting, Swaran Singh Boparai and R I Singh said that 70 per cent of the people of Punjab depend on agriculture for their livelihood. The entire economy of the state is directly linked to agriculture. Future progress depends on how quickly we can bring crop diversification and add value to foodgrains and then send them to foreign markets.
They said that water of rivers is the soul and life line of the Punjab. Instead of educating the farmers about benefits of utilizing the canal water for agriculture, the authorities promoted the installation of the tubewells over the decades and it resulted in depletion of the sub soil water to the critical level.
The water level has gone so deep that even the high powered motors are unable to pump out water. Instead of ensuring adequate irrigation of the fields of Punjab, the water, contrary to the riparian law, has been given to the neighbouring states. At the meeting, serious concern was expressed that the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers has now contaminated the drinking water. In any case canal water should cover half the cultivable area of Punjab if the state is to be saved from becoming barren.
The Punjab government’s recent announcement of support price and promise to purchase maize and moong crops were lauded in the meeting. It was also emphasised that the announcement of support prices on other pulses and edible oil crops would not only increase the income of farmers but also encourage diversification.
At the meeting, a resolution was passed appreciating the action taken by the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann against his cabinet minister in a corruption case. Yesterday, the CM sacked his cabinet minister, who was later arrested by the police.
The Forum commended the Chief Minister of Punjab for sticking to its promise of providing clean governance to the people of Punjab. Another resolution was passed for the economic development of the countryside, for strengthening social cohesion and rural community. Those who attended were: Mrs Kamal Bindra; GS Pandher; Devinder Sharma; Kulbir Singh Sidhu ; BS Sudan; GK Singh ; Karamjit Singh Saran; Harkesh Singh Sidhu ; Indermohan Singh; R .S Tiwana; G. S Sandhu ; Harwant Singh ; M.S Dulat ; A .S Chahal ; Jarnail Singh ; Avtar Singh Hira; L .J.S Gill ; M.S Guron ; K .S Brar; Malwinder Singh and M .S Bajwa.