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The farmers have worked hard and produced enough food grains in spite of adverse circumstances

NEW DELHI: Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh said here today that government is taking concrete steps to remove debt problems of the farmers. He further said that Government has increased Agricultural Credit target Rs. 9 lakh crore for the year 2016-17 to bring the farmers within institutional fold. He added that government is taking long term measures to remove the problems of the farmers.

Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister said this in two days Kharif Conference being held at NASC-ICAR Institute Pusa, New Delhi.  The Agriculture Minister informed that it is for the first time that the representatives of agriculture and related sectors have been invited for the conference.  Shri Singh observed that inspite of a severe loss to the crops owing to unseasonable rainfall, hailstorm and other natural calamities, the whole food grain production which was 252.02 million tons in 2014-15 as per advance estimate (15.2.2016), it has been increased to 253.16 million tones on 2015-16. Speaking at the occasion he said that, the government has to double the farmers income in the next five years as is announced in the budget 2016-17. Hon’ble Prime Minister has suggested 7 points to achieve the target.

Increase in Production: The Government has increased budgetary provision in irrigation sector. Government aims at ‘more crop per drop’.  Government policy is focused on water preservation and irrigation. Government is working hard to increase the productions of other crops alongwith paddy and oilseeds.

More income less input: We can get higher productivity from the seeds when it get right amount of nutrients from the soil. Soil health card scheme can help in this regard. We are providing useful information to the farmers. In this programme, farmers will invest less and get more. It is necessary to regularize the cost of farming and to maintain the productivity of crops.  Soil health promotion programme has been initiated for the preservation of soil health.

Government has decided last year to produce only neem coated urea so that plants get nutrients easily. Rs 20,000 per acre are being provided to the farmers to encourage them to adopt organic farming.

To increase the income of farmers by reducing their marketing expenditure: A national agriculture market is being set up for electronic trading. In this programme, 585 agriculture mandis of India will be connected to each other. The farmers will get maximum price of their crops and the interference of mediators will be reduced to a greater extent. Direct foreign investment is also being encouraged in this field.

Agriculture risk security: Under Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana, the farmers will be benefited on account of natural calamities like storms, earthquake and cyclone etc.

To reduce post-production losses production: The government of India has promoted region based strategy according to the climatic diversity of every state and region by implementing unified Horticulture Development Mission so as to develop horticulture sector as a whole. Under this mission, the government aims to promote technical setup, extension of area under horticulture crops, post-harvest management, processing and marketing etc. India ranks second on global scenario in horticultural crops after China.

Value addition: Government is promoting processed food industry so as to make value addition in agricultural products. Not only this, but government is also chalking out its programme through different schemes to increase the production of fruits and vegetables and its processing with assistance of Ministry of Food Processing Industry. The government aims to increase it to 25% by 2025 in comparison of 10% in existing scenario.

Auxiliary Activities: With Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision, this task will be executed partly through livestock, dairy, poultry, bee keeping, agriculture ponds and fisheries. Simultaneously, the efforts are being made to increase the income of farmers by planting trees in fields and installing solar panels there.

Shri Singh informed that to increase availability of seeds in north east states, National Seeds Corporation had asked Govt of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar to provide land to establish production centres. West Bengal and Jharkhand have given land and it is hoped that Bihar will do the same. Minister also said that to establish an institution like Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Bhopal, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar were requested to provide land. Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh have given land and it is hoped that Bihar will provide the land for the same.

In the end, Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister called for the participation of all concerned, particularly states, to work for the welfare of farmers.