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Radha Mohan Singh inaugurates Rabi Conference 2016

NEW DELHI: Union Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh inaugurated a two-day National Rabi Conference in New Delhi starting from Thursday. Speaking on the occasion,  Singh said that the conference will provide a platform for result-oriented discussions and sharing of experiences/skills to prepare for the forthcoming rabi season. Singh said that the two-day National Conference will provide opportunity to fix crop wise targets, to put in place a robust arrangement of supplies to different states and to introduce new technologies and new practices in the agriculture sector.

Singh stated that in the Union Budget for 2016-17, the Union Finance Ministry has allocated Rs.35,984 Cr to the Agriculture Sector for the welfare of the farmers. The Government has resolved to double the farmers’ income by 2022. This would be possible only with the cooperation of the State Governments. In India, the average yield of all the major crops is far less than the world yield average and substantial variation in productivity is visible amongst the States. The officers and scientists of the Central and the State Governments should deliberate and formulate a concrete strategy to increase the farmers’ income two-fold.

Union Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister said that the Government of India has given top priority to the agriculture sector and in 2016-17 budget, the sector has been allocated Rs.35,984 Cr for the welfare of the farmers. This allocation is  the highest till now. Besides, the Government has set the target of doubling the farmers’ income by 2022, which will only be possible with the cooperation of the states.

Agriculture and the Farmer Welfare Minister said that the average yield of major crops in India is very low as compared with the world yield average and substantial variation in productivity is visible among the states. Therefore, the need of the hour is that the scientists and officers of the Central and State Governments should work with full dedication to firm up a concrete strategy to double the farmers’ income.

Singh called upon all the officers and staff present to help in protecting the crops of the farmers who have been affected by very low rainfall, very high rainfall or floods. The Minister further said that the moisture trapped in soil in the areas which registered heavy rainfall, can be used to grow pulses and oil seeds. Efforts should be made to conserve rainwater in rabi season/hot weather in areas that have received more or normal rainfall and the states should work out an action plan to grow rabi pulses and oil seeds in areas which are irrigated by conserved rainwater.

The Union Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister urged the states to immediately implement important Centrally supported schemes like Soil Healthcard Scheme, Organic Farming, Pradhan Mantri Crop Insurance Schemes, Pradhan Mantri Agriculture Irrigation Scheme and Integrated Mandi Yojna. The State Governments should prepare a plan to buy quality seeds in adequate quantity and build up fertilizer stocks and should ensure that there is no scarcity of these inputs during sowing time.

Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare  Purshottam Rupala, while addressing the conference, said that the conditions are conducive for sowing pulses and oil seeds in areas that have received heavy rainfall. Optimistic yields in pulses and rice would be seen in the areas that are covered by rainwater irrigation. Our main strategy in the conference is to ensure better harvesting while at the same time evaluating and analysing the kharif 2016. Also, the proper strategy will have to be worked out for the ensuing rabi season.

Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, Sudarshan Bhagat, while addressing the Conference said that the development and prosperity of the farmers is dependent on increasing agricultural production and in addition to receipt of the fair value of additional yield produced. They faces much difficulty in getting Government subsidies and benefits. For this, our government through the schemes like Jan Dhan Yojna and Direct Benefit Transfer (D.B.T), has provided money transfer to each beneficiary directly in his bank account, which established the relationship of Government-to-People (G 2 P). At present in the country 66 central schemes being implemented through this and the target is to cover all the welfare and subsidy based schemes by March 2017.