New Delhi, March 26: Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that to bring prosperity in the field of agriculture measues are being taken to boost the production of the smallholdings, reduce production costs and maintain the productivity. While speaking at a seminar on Agriculture for Prosperity and Sustainable Development on Saturday Minister said that government has sanctioned 40 percent extra funds for the agricultural universities in the last two years.
The Minister said that the biggest challenge for the agricultural sector is to make smallholdings profitable and engage rural youth in agriculture. He added that the task is difficult but not impossible. He also said that work is going on to provide small farmers distinct technological option so that they can choose as per the resources available to them. He said that to achieve that, it is important that agricultural scientists should develop different techniques as per the requirement of different regions and Krishi Vigyan Kendras and advertising network should make them available to the farmers without delay.
He said that it is important to implement soil health card properly. We should build awareness among farmers about the right use of fertilisers so that they can increase production while maintaining the fertility of the soil. Proper management of rain and harvested water will play an important role in doubling farmer’s income. We are promoting integrated farming system so that farmers can yield higher income through horticulture, livestock, agroforestry and other composite farming systems.
Indian Institute of Farming Systems Research, Meerut has developed 38 integrated farming systems for 23 states. In the current financial year, the government has sanctioned Rs. 3crore for the exhibition of integrated farming in 100 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK). Each KVK will get Rs. 3 lakh and utilise the fund to train farmers so that they can adopt integrated farming model to increase their income.
The Minister said that agriculture education and agriculture research plays an important role in the growth of agriculture sector. In the last two years, Indian Agriculture Research Council (ICAR) has developed 441 improved species of food grains as well as horticulture crops and 13478 tons of genetic seeds of various crops. The institutes under ICAR have developed 53 agricultural equipment that will benefit farmers. ICAR has also registered nine new livestock and poultry species.