Staff Correspondent

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on Wednesday announced that a Farmers' Welfare Fund would be created for providing modern training and other essential facilities to farmers in the State.

Mr. Chauhan said the Government would be holding consultations with the Centre to lower the interest rate on cooperative loans for the purpose of lowering the cost of farm produce.

He made these announcements at the first Kisan Panchayat he was addressing at his residence here. The Kisan Panchayat coinciding with Balram Jayanti was organised to mark Farmers' Day. The State Government has also declared 2006 as Farmers' Year. He announced that State Government departments would be engaged in special activities aimed at benefiting the farmers throughout the year.