Why mock the poor farmers of Punjab to migrate? - 21/09/2010

Mr Sukhbir Badal,
Deputy Chief Minister

21 September 2010

Dear Sukhbir,

Why mock the poor farmers of Punjab to migrate?

I am shocked that the major lesson from your latest international jaunt is a call to the poor Punjab farmers to migrate to South America.

The intensive agriculture of Punjab has little in common with Central and South America. There are major climatic, geological and seasonal variations and the large farms of that region, often running into thousands of acres, contrast sharply with the meagre sub-5 acre landholdings of Punjab.

Brazil may appear a land of great opportunity from the window of your private jet but unless you can directly transfer farming practices and technologies from that country to Punjab, your latest visit will yet again have been a waste of money.

Were Punjab farmers to take up your call to migrate who would settle the substantial debts that they would leave behind?

The biggest challenge for Punjab agriculture remains the diversification away from the wheat / paddy rotation. Your government and your latest trip has completely failed to address this fundamental issue.

And then there is the issue of your own credibility. I have met many farmers over the last 2 weeks who were regularly reading news reports on your latest visit. None were of the opinion that you had travelled for the benefit of Punjab agriculture. Shockingly, all were convinced that you were making yet more acquisitions of land for your private portfolio.

That is the sad part of being Sukhbir Badal; even when you are making a genuine and sincere effort to do something progressive, the people of Punjab do not believe you.


Jassi Khangura MLA

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