Badal gives green signal for 'Contract Farming Act'

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today gave nod for enacting 'Contract Farming Act' to ensure better remunerative prices to the beleaguered peasantry at their doorsteps, an official spokesman said.

This is considered to be a path breaking initiative aimed at motivating farmers to shun the traditional sowing of paddy and replace it by Maize as an alternate crop under state's ambitious crop diversification programme, the spokesman said.

Presiding over a high level meeting for the promotion of Agriculture diversification in the state, the Chief Minister gave go ahead for the enactment of this act which would be instrumental in the 'Farm gate purchase' benefiting both the maize growers and the prospective Maize processing entrepreneurs.

Badal hoped that this act would facilitate the farmers by supplementing their income coupled with assured marketing mechanism, on the one hand, and ensure high quality produce for processing in terms of value addition by the keen private entrepreneurs, on the other.

The Chief Minister asked the officers of the Agriculture department to immediately finalise the modalities to notify Maize for the contract farming so that paradigm shift of maize cultivation from paddy could be ensured without any further delay.

Highlighting the significance of direct marketing of agriculture produce especially the Maize, Badal directed the Agriculture department to immediately effect necessary amendments in the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act, which would go a long way in strengthening the agricultural economy thereby improving the economic lot of our farmers.

The Chief Minister also directed the officers of the agriculture department to provide subsidised high yield quality seeds, weedicides and pesticides so that the production of Maize crop in the state could be increased manifold.

Badal said the need to provide 25 per cent subsidy on the highly mechanised agricultural inputs used for Maize cultivation so that the majority of farmers could be diverted from the paddy cultivation in order to ease out the pressure on our precious natural resources in terms of micro nutrients of soil besides depleting ground water.

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