ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Policy for Punjab's Agriculture

Will It Deliver?

Punjab's new agriculture policy based on a report prepared by the Committee for Formulation of Agriculture Policy for Punjab focuses on yield enhancement and market orientation instead of demand-driven agriculture. While the report talks about the need for diversification, it does not bother to analyse the failure of earlier policies. The report is on the whole short on analysis and long on recommendations.

The Committee for Formulation of Agriculture Policy for Punjab submitted a draft report to the state government early this year and this was published by the Punjab State Farmers Commission (PSFC) in March 2013.

The report documents the performance of the farm sector in the state, identifies the challenges, sets policy objectives, and outlines measures and strategies to achieve them. It has chapters on the crop sector, livestock and the institutional framework, besides an introduction and a summary of recommendations. Since the report has been accepted and is being implemented, it is important that adequate public discussion takes place and the various stakeholders in the sector are able to examine the implications of steps being taken for diversification based on this report. The central government has also stepped in with additional funds of Rs 224.5 crore for the state as part of its Rs 500 crore crop diversification plan in the orginal green revolution states (Punjab, Haryana, and west Uttar Pradesh) under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) during 2013-14. The activities under the diversification plan include alternate crop demonstrations, farm mechanisation and value addition, site specifc activities, awareness training and incentives for effective implementation. In this context, this article examines the PSFC report for its analysis and perspective and specific recommendations.

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