Chandigarh: To motivate the farming community to restrain from burning crop residue, the Punjab Government has decided to provide subsidy worth Rs. 300 crore ranging from 50% to 80% to farmers for the purchase of 23,500 agro-machines/farm equipments for the management of paddy residue during Kharif, 2020.
Disclosing this here today, Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Anirudh Tiwari said that state government has invited applications from farmers both individually and in groups to provide subsidy on the purchase of paddy residue management machines in the current Kharif season.
Pointing out further, Tiwari said that it has been decided to give these machines to 7000 farmers, 5000 cooperative societies, panchayats and farmers groups to refrain them from burning crop residue to make ‘Punjab Clean, Green and Pollution Free’. Subsidy to individual farmers shall be given at the rate of 50% of cost of the machines and the same shall be 80% in case of societies and farmers groups.
Notably, the State government had already provided over 51,000 such machines to farmers with a subsidy component of Rs. 480 crore in the last two years.
Emphasizing the rationale behind giving these machines to the farmers, ACS said that the open burning of paddy residue not only cause widespread air pollution during winter season but also adversely affect the soil health by destroying valuable organic matter and friendly organisms on the upper crust of soil.
Meanwhile, Secretary Agriculture KS Pannu informed that these equipments include state-of-the-art machines comprising Super Straw Management System on Combine Harvesters, Happy Seeder, Paddy Straw Chopper/Shredder/Mulcher, RMB Plough, Zero Till Drill and Super Seeder, which are required for in-situ management of paddy have been decided to be subsidized by the Govt. with a view to ensure zero burning of paddy residue in the open fields. Machines required for ex-situ management of paddy straw such as balers and rakes have also been included for providing subsidy.
Farmers can purchase machines from about 285 manufacturers which have been empanelled by Govt. of India on the basis of strict quality parameters, detailed specifications, capacity for timely delivery and after sale service. PAU has been asked to empanel more manufacturers and machines who could meet the parameters of quality specifications, added Pannu.