SHIMLA 11th February, 2024
• New schemes for farmers in the upcoming budget to increase their income
Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, in the first of its kind interaction meet, with the milk producers of the state at Hotel Peterhoff in Shimla said that the government was encouraging agriculture as an industry to make the farmers self-reliant. Since agriculture and milk production plays a pivotal role in promoting rural economy, the state government is coming up with innovative schemes in the upcoming budget to increase the income of farmers which were likely to yield positive results in the next two years, said the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister said that there is a direct relationship between agriculture and milk production it becomes necessary to go for natural and organic farming in a big way, thereby linking the traditional farming techniques with modern technologies. “We intend to bring revolutionary change in agriculture sector with special focus on promoting animal husbandry” he said adding that an increase of six rupees in milk purchase price is an indication of our future course of action to strengthen the diary sector for assuring fixed income to the farmers. He said that the fundamental changes were being made in the policies and rules to ensure that money goes directly to the farmers. The government will also consider giving tax concession to the milk producers, he assured.
He said that the milk quality in Himalayan region was far better and efforts were afoot for its marketing which will add to the income of farmers and making agriculture as an employment oriented industry besides taking measures to prevent them from exploitation while selling their produce in the open market. These efforts will help in strengthening the rural economy, he said. To strengthen the milk-based economy of the state, ‘Him Ganga Yojana’ has been started with a budget provision of Rs 500 crore.
To cost Rs 226 crore, the milk processing plant with a capacity of 1 lakh 50 thousand liters per day will be established at Dhagwar in Kangra district, which can be enhanced upto 3 lakh liters per day. The process of land transfer for setting up the plant has been completed. The unutilized land of the farmers will be used for setting up solar plants to strengthen the rural economy under the second phase of Rajiv Gandhi Self-Employment Startup Scheme, he said.
The Chief Minister also held extensive discussions with the farmers in an open dialogue session and assured to incorporate the suggestions received from the farmers and other stakeholders in its policy document.
The Chief Minister also visited the exhibition set up by MILKFED and interacted with the farmers.
Secretary Animal Husbandry, Rakesh Kanwar welcomed the Chief Minister and detailed about the initiatives being taken to bolster diary sector.
Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister (Media) Naresh Chauhan, Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister Ram Subhag Singh, former Chairman MILKFED Chet Ram Thakur, Director IPR, Rajeev Kumar, Director Animal Husbandry Dr. Pradeep Sharma and other dignitaries were also present.