Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Sunday said the State government was all set to introduce innovative schemes and increase farmers’ incomes in the upcoming annual Budget since agriculture and milk production played a pivotal role in the rural economy.
He was speaking in Shimla during a first of its kind interaction with the State’s milk producers.
Mr. Sukhu said the government was encouraging agriculture as an industry to make farmers self-reliant. “There is a direct relationship between agriculture and milk production, and it becomes necessary to go for natural and organic farming in a big way, thereby linking traditional farming techniques with modern technologies. We intend to bring a revolutionary change in the agriculture sector with a special focus on promoting animal husbandry,” he said.
He said the recent increase of six rupees per litre in the purchase price of milk was indicative of his government’s future course of action in strengthening the dairy sector and ensuring a fixed income for farmers. “Fundamental changes are being made in the policies and rules to ensure that money goes directly to the farmers,” he added.
Pointing out that the government would also consider providing tax concessions to milk producers, he said the quality of milk in the Himalayan region was superior, and efforts were underway to market it, which would increase farmers’ income and generate employment.
To strengthen the State’s milk-based economy, the ‘Him Ganga Yojana’ had been launched with a budgetary provision of ₹500 crore, Mr. Sukhu said.