Port Blair, July 7: The Member of Parliament, Shri. Kuldeep Rai Sharma has proposed the implementation of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode wherein tractors available with Panchayats in PPP mode, can be made available to farmers on an affordable rental basis.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Secretary, the Member of Parliament said that this would ensure that the tractors are well-maintained and consistently accessible to farmers within each Panchayat.

As a starting point, he suggested that a group of three Panchayats (having agricultural belt) be provided with at least one tractor under the PPP mode to facilitate efficient and cost-effective farming practices.

He pointed out that many farmers who engage in professional farming, both on small and large scales, are encountering many challenges due to the absence of tractors in their respective Panchayats.

“Some Panchayats do not possess tractors, while others that do have them are unable to maintain and upkeep them, rendering them in-operational. Although a few Panchayats have acquired tractors, they are presently unavailable for rent due to maintenance issues,” he explained.

The Member of Parliament mentioned that Tractors play a vital role in modern farming techniques and their availability within Panchayats in the past had proven to be a blessing for farmers, particularly those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Renting tractors at a low cost from the nearest Panchayat allows farmers of our Islands to cultivate their land professionally and earn a sustainable income. Without access to tractors, farmers are compelled to resort to traditional farming methods, which are time-consuming, physically exhausting, and less efficient.

“By adopting this approach, we can empower our farmers, enhance agricultural productivity, promote organic farming and contribute to the overall economic growth of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.  As organic farming and good health of Islanders is a focus area of Administration, empowering farmers will ensure promotion of organic farming in Islands,” he added.