Chandigarh: As part of the state government’s campaign to control stubble burning, the Punjab agriculture department has embarked upon a programme to provide subsidy worth Rs 395 crore, in the current fiscal, for the purchase of 28,641 agro-machines and other farm equipment for farmers to manage paddy residue.
Stubble burning is identified as a major cause of pollution in the northern part of the country, including national capital New Delhi.
Subsidy ranging from 50 to 80 per cent is being provided to the farmers under the scheme, an official spokesperson said.
This is part of the Rs 665 crore subsidy announced by the Amarinder Singh government for 2018-19 and 2019-20 for purchase of agro-machines and farm equipment for paddy residue management.
The remaining amount would be utilised in the next financial year, the spokesperson added.
Around 12,000 machines are being subsidised at 50 per cent for individual farmers, another 5,280 agro-machines are being provided to 514 farmer groups and 16,655 agro-machines to 3,547 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) at a subsidy of 80 per cent to establish Farm Machinery Banks (FMBs) to be used as Custom Hiring Centres, the spokesperson said.
The equipment includes state-of-the-art machines, including Happy Seeder, Paddy Straw Chopper/Cutter, Mulcher, RMB Plough, Shrub Cutter, Zero Till Drill, Super Straw Management System on Combine Harvesters, Rotary Slasher and Rotavator, he said.
The chief minister recently asked the agriculture department to ensure timely delivery of these machines to the farmers.
He has also directed the formulation of a comprehensive communication plan to create awareness amongst farmers about the ill effects of paddy residue burning.
To ensure zero burning of paddy straw in the state, the chief minister has instructed all the deputy commissioners to lead the campaign against stubble burning.
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