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Friday, April 19, 2024

Punjab CM bats for guarantee of MSP on alternative crops


 In a series of high-stakes meetings over the weekend, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann passionately advocated for the Minimum Support Price (MSP) on alternative crops to protect the interests of farmers.

Attending a crucial gathering with Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda, and Nityanand Rai, along with representatives of various farmer unions, Mann raised the issue of importing pulses from Mozambique and Colombia, emphasising that if MSP is assured for these crops, Punjab could lead the nation in pulse production.

Highlighting the potential for a second green revolution in the country, Mann acknowledged the historical challenges faced by Punjab due to the previous green revolution, emphasising the need for sustainable practices. He proposed that farmers in the state could consider adopting cotton and maize, provided they received the MSP for these crops. Assured marketing of these crops, he argued, could encourage farmers to diversify their crops, reducing dependency on traditional crops like paddy.

Detailed discussions during the meeting focused on seeking guarantees for the purchase of cotton and maize, with Mann underscoring the potential benefits of crop diversification in the country. He pointed out that the current practice of importing pulses from other nations could be curtailed if farmers were offered remunerative prices, helping save foreign reserves and breaking the cycle of paddy cultivation, which is water-intensive.

Mann, representing the interests of farmers, emphasised the importance of maintaining peace, law, and order during protests, expressing regret over the tragic loss of two farmers’ lives. He assured his commitment to safeguarding the life and property of the state and called for open deliberations between farmers and the union government to find an amicable resolution.

Concerns were also raised about the suspension of internet services in five districts, adversely affecting students’ studies during ongoing exams. Mann condemned the suspension, emphasising the importance of ensuring the youth’s welfare and urging for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing situation.

Expressing gratitude to both the Union government and farmers for engaging in dialogue, Mann deemed these discussions a crucial platform for resolving issues. He expressed hope for more such discussions in the future, emphasising the state government’s commitment to maintaining peace, communal harmony, and amity and calling on all stakeholders for their support.

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