In a significant development, the state of Punjab has been conferred the Krishi Karman Award 2015-16 for best performance in raising country’s food grain production.

Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa received the award from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the function held in New Delhi on Saturday.

The Krishi Karman Award, given by the Central government every year to the best performing state for raising country’s food production, which includes food grains and individual crops of rice, wheat, pulses and coarse cereals, comprises a cash prize of Rs Two Crore, memento and citation.

Bajwa congratulated the farmers of Punjab for this rare achievement and said that it is due to their hard work that Punjab has the unsurpassable distinction of being the food bowl of the country.

Bajwa said that the agriculture sector is no more a profitable as Minimum Support Price (MSP) continues to be fixed on the basis of the decades old formula.

He pointed out that farming in Punjab is different from the entire country due to its being capital intensive leading to the high cost of input that is not being taken into account by the commission for costs and prices while calculating MSP.

The cost was much higher as compared to the prices that the farmers are getting. He said even drought has different meaning in Punjab as it only leads to higher cost of irrigation and hence production.

The minister strongly urged the Union government to fulfill its promise of implementation of the Swaminathan report in totality to save the farmers of the country. He called upon the government to come out with a national policy to extend assured marketing support to facilitate diversification, especially in
Punjab.