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Amid Cattle Slaughter Row, Punjab Budget Bats for Pigs

22 June 2017, at 6:00am

INDIA - Even as the Centre's ban on cattle sale for slaughter at animal markets has triggered a country-wide debate, Punjab government on Tuesday announced setting up of new pig breeding farms, saying "there was need to diversify in agriculture allied activities."

The Times of India reports that these announcements were made as part of the Punjab budget. The two pig farms would come up in Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur.

"There is hardly any value addition in cereal sector whereas contribution from sectors like dairy, horticulture, forestry, fishing, and livestock to the economy is on the decline as compared to pure agriculture," Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal told the House. "There is need to diversify in other allied activities."

The fact that Punjab is fond of non-vegetarian fares is no secret. Meat lovers and restaurateurs in the state are known for selling and consuming varieties of Amritsari fish, Peshwari and Patiala chicken amid other dishes.

The finance minister said there was a need to give a new thrust to this sector by linking the farmer to the food industry. "The state shall converge dairy and animal food product processing industry with dairy farmers, piggery farms, and fish farms to bring prosperity," he said.

Milk plants at Mohali, Jalandhar, and Amritsar will be modernized with an investment of Rs110 crore. "It will increase the milk handling capacity from 20 lakh litres per day to 25 lakh litres per day by the end of 2017-18," he said.

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