Dehra Dun: The Uttarakhand government on Tuesday
approved a new agriculture policy which seeks to promote
special farm zones but rejected a proposal to ban purchase of
farmland for commercial purposes.
Under the special agriculture zones (SAZ), the state
government would set up micro and small enterprises in the
agriculture sector to generate employment.
This was decided at a Cabinet meeting presided over by
Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.
Agriculture Secretary Om Prakash said under the SAZ
scheme, the government is aiming to protect its agriculture
land and provide food security to the state.
The new agriculture policy came after the government
approved the new APMC Act that seeks to promote private
players in the sector and allow setting up of private mandis.
For the SAZ, the government also announced special
incentives like availability of 24-hour power supply and free
soil tests. Apart from this, if a farmer wants to purchase
lands adjacent to his existing fields, he would be fully
exempted from paying the stamp duty.
Under the SAZ, the government would set up special
collection and processing centres for the benefit of farmers.
The special feature of the SAZ would be voluntary land
consolidation since most of the land holdings in the state are
The government has made special provision of giving
grants also. For example, Lakholi village in Pauri district
which has already adopted the voluntary land consolidation has
been given the status of SAZ. For this village, the government
also announced a special grant of Rs 35 lakh.