Punjab National Bank would soon be developing an agriculture farm to train farmers in latest advancements in the farm sector and the State Government would be making adequate land available for the purpose. This was stated by Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, in a meeting with high level delegation of Punjab National Bank headed by Shri K.R.Kamath, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, which called on him here today.
Chief Minister directed the authorities to identify suitable land to be transferred to the Bank so that agriculture training centre could start functioning early. He welcomed the initiative of the Bank to come forward and set up such an important institution in the state which would supplement the endeavours of the state directed towards the strengthening of the farm sector. He said that Himachal Pradesh being a hilly state had agrarian society as major chunk of its population was dependant upon agriculture directly or indirectly for their livelihood. He said that the State had small and marginal holdings and the farming community was toiling hard to get maximum yield from the same. He apprised the delegation of various initiatives taken by the State Government to modernize and strengthen the agriculture sector, which included Rs. 353 crore ‘Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Kisaan Baagwan Samridhi Yojna’ Rs. 322 crore ‘Organic Fertilizer Project’ and Rs. 300 crore ‘Doodh Ganga Yojna’. He said that all the three ambitious schemes were changing the farm economy and the results were visible in the rural areas where large number of farmers had constructed poly houses to cultivate cash crops by diversifying traditional farming practices.
Prof. Dhumal said that Banks should liberally finance agriculture projects so that rural educated unemployed youth could find employment and self-employment avenues at their door steps and in the traditional avocation of farming. He said that the State Government would be providing all possible help for early setting up of the agriculture training centre at appropriate place in the State where young farmers could learn the latest techniques of farming in vogue in the leading countries of the world. He said that the State Government had created a strong network of marketing yards all over to provide wholesale marketing outlets near to the villages. He said that one Rs. 100 crore modern Marketing Yard was being constructed at Parala near Theog in district Shimla to provide best of the marketing facilities to the apple and off-season vegetable growers. He said that the State Government had also proposed to construct similar Marketing Yard in the lower areas as well to facilitate the fruit and vegetable growers.
Chief Minister hoped that with the setting up of the Agriculture Training Centre by Punjab National Bank, possibilities of better yield and quality farm products would be explored benefitting the growers with attractive remunerative returns. He also lauded the initiative of the Bank in shouldering the social corporate responsibility and lending its supportive hand in carrying forward with various social welfare activities. He said that the State would be looking forward towards better coordination and more harmonious relations with the banking industry.
Shri K.R.Kamath, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Punjab National Bank, thanked the Chief Minister for providing all help in the smooth functioning of the Bank which had resulted into making the Bank as lead bank in six of the 12 districts of the State. He requested the Chief Minister to provide land for the agriculture training centre where farmers of the State could be trained with best of the skills in the agriculture sector. He said that the Bank had opened a library in Una where local people were being provided latest reading material besides generating employment to local youth.