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The recommendations of the Punjab Legislative Committee may assist in resolving some issues plaguing the state's agriculture sector

The introduction of a third crop, a cap on the number of bags of subsidised urea, and the conversion of agriculture tube-wells to solar tube-wells are all proposed as welcome steps by the Punjab Legislative Committee. However, some suggestions, such as requiring cotton producers to purchase crop insurance, are debatable.

The recommendations of the Punjab Legislative Committee may assist in resolving some issues plaguing the state's agriculture sector
The March 2023 report of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha committee on agriculture and allied activities in the state, which was formed last May, emphasizes the need for legislative oversight of executive decisions and their implementation for them to make a difference and return the focus to design and execution improvements in such steps. The committee was formed to evaluate the operations of various government departments and agencies, as well as implementation issues on the ground. It has made numerous notable recommendations, but it also fails to provide logical reasoning for some other recommendations and ignores some ground realities.
Among its criticisms was that the state had not effectively implemented the crop diversification sub-scheme due to delays in the release of funds or a failure to contribute the state's share to the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY). The committee was critical of the bureaucracy. According to the report, there was a lack of awareness and commitment among departmental officials to benefit from central schemes, which resulted in funds running out. It recommends forming an inter-departmental working group to investigate such schemes thoroughly. It has called for disciplinary action against concerned officials if their negligence prevented such schemes' benefits from reaching farmers.

Increasing and Sustaining the Agri Economy

The recommendations for introducing a third crop as a gap crop to increase farmer income are well placed, as a cropping intensity of only 200 percent in a state like Punjab is not a significant accomplishment. The recommendation for zoning for proper demand-supply management of various crop production in the state is consistent with the Planned Production and Marketing (PPM) programs used by many countries when promoting new crops. Furthermore, the committee recommends that the state develop an organic farming policy that includes provisions for organic produce marketing by such farmers in cities and towns.

Its suggestion for more localized crop Packages of Practices (PoPs) and advisories relevant to farmers in each district is a welcome one. The committee would like the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to make its research more relevant to farmers by recommending only active ingredients of chemical pesticides rather than brands in its PoPs. It has also urged PAU to prioritize marketing aspects of new crops over production practices and technologies.

Also, Read:- Punjab Vidhan Sabha committee on agriculture

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