CHANDIGARH: Punjab Regional Office commemorated the 40th
Foundation Day of NABARD by organising a webinar on “enhancing
farmers’ income with collectivization of produce through FPOs and
integrated farming’ on
Anirudh Tewari, additional chief secretary (development) cum financial
commissioner, Punjab was chief guest on this occasion.
While greeting NABARD on its Foundation Day, Tewari appreciated the
unique role of NABARD as a financial as well as developmental institution.
Tewari recognised the support provided by NABARD for creation of
irrigation and rural connectivity in Punjab.
He said the support provided under RIDF for the milk processing plant at Bassi Pathana is going to benefit the farmers involved
in dairy farming. Further, he felt the need to diversify cropping patterns in the state from monoculture of wheat and paddy to
horticulture crops and commercialise seed production.
He added that FPO can play a vital role for diversification with economise the cost of cultivation through economies of scale.
He informed that the state government is keen on implementation of the central scheme of FPO in the state.
In his welcome address, Dr Rajiv Siwach, CGM, NABARD Punjab regional office discussed the immense human suffering on
account of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, despite the disruptions in the agricultural value chain, the positive aspect has
been that the agriculture sector has shown positive growth during 2020-21.
Punjab being the grain bowl of the country, made a record procurement of paddy and wheat during the year.
He informed that NABARD has doubled infrastructure support in the State to the tune of Rs 600 crore during last FY. He highlighted that
cumulative sanctions under RIDF in the state have surpassed Rs 10,000 crore. He also informed that in order to address the
issue of depleting ground water table, a project of Rs 150 crore sanctioned under Micro Irrigation Fund.
CGM briefed about development initiatives undertaken by NABARD in the state.
He informed that 108 Farmer Producer
Organisations (FPOs) have been supported for collectivization and marketing of produce.
NABARD took innovative steps for providing marketing support to women members of SHG & JLGs to e-commerce platforms
during the pandemic.
Tewari also discussed that Punjab is the food bowl of the country and record procurement of 203 lakh MT of paddy and wheat
was procured 132 lakh MT. He also mentioned that during the wheat season payment for procurement of wheat to about 9.5
lakh farmers was made through DBT.
He acknowledged NABARD’s role in promotion and capacity building of Farmers Producers Organisation (FPO).
He averred that members of FPOs are getting the advantage of collective purchase of input & sale of produce, value addition
as well getting latest technologies for farming activities. social capital formation through nurturing SHG/ JLGs, supplementing
financial resources of RFI for agriculture operations. He also discussed the various initiatives taken by PAU for enhancing
income of farmers as well as environmental sustainable farming practices.