Bhopal, Aug 30 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Wednesday formally announced the setting up of a state commission on farmers at the state's first farmers' meet here.
The meet was held on the occasion of the birthday of Lord Balram - the god of farmers.
Until this day next year, Madhya Pradesh would observe the period as the `Year of Farmers', the chief minister said.
'The state commission on farmers would initiate steps to seek a solution to various problems and difficulties being faced by farmers and amend the existing provisions in the larger interests of farmers,' he said.
The state will have a farmers' welfare fund to impart modern training and ensure other facilities to them, Chouhan added.
Awards would be instituted for two outstanding farmers - a male and a female - in each district of the state.
The government would take steps to bring down interest rate on cooperative loans to reduce the cost of farming, Chouhan said, adding that, 'during the 'Year of Farmers' all concerned departments would launch activities dedicated to the welfare of farmers.
The chief minister announced no new tax would be imposed on farmers and existing taxes would either be reduced or abolished.
The farmers, he said, can now purchase sprinklers, drip irrigation kits and other implements form open market and could also avail the facility of subsidy.
Chouhan said the farmers would no longer pay any fee for getting a no-dues certificate from cooperative banks.
He warned companies manufacturing and trading sub-standard fertilisers and seeds threatening them with strict action.
The farmers purchasing pairs of oxen and bullock carts would get government grant, Chouhan added. Free soil-testing facility would be available to them and mobile soil-testing laboratories would also be launched.
About 100 farmers from all over the state participated in the meeting and apprised the government with their problems in the form of written notes.
The officials have been asked to go through them minutely.