New Delhi, April 25: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that after independence, this is the first government, which is not only focusing on the economic development of farmers along with the agricultural development but also taking concrete steps at grass root level for the development of farmers.
While speaking at a meeting organised for Agri-Marketing Ministers of the states Radha Mohan said that it is our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream to double farmers’ income by 2022 and that farmers should be part of mainstream development. This can be possible only when the centre and the state governments would work in tandem. To double farmers’ income, work is being done on three levels.
Singh said that the first level includes production cost reduction and to increase productivity. To achieve that, the states should make optimal use of the central government schemes Soil Health Card and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana. Under Soil Health Card Scheme, the soil is tested and under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana water is made available to the fields.
Union Agriculture Minister said that second level to double farmers’ incomes includes diversification into allied activities such as livestock, poultry, bee-keeping, and agroforestry. The government has taken several steps in this regard.
He said that the third and the most important level include providing regulated Mandis to ensure profitable returns to farmers for their produce. Singh said that so far traditional Mandis have done well, however, now it’s imperative for the Mandis to adopt new marketing strategies to address the demands for marketing of increased and diversified agricultural marketable surplus.
Considering the need, Agriculture Ministry prepared a Model Act on Agricultural Marketing in the year 2003 and this was circulated among the states to improve market laws as per the act. After 2003, for a long time, no major change was made in the Agriculture Marketing. In March 2010, an Empowered Committee of the state ministers’ in-charge of Agri-marketing was formed.
Singh said that after forming the government, we have taken several important decisions to improve the conditions of the farmers. To double farmers’ income, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved National Agriculture Market (E-NAM) Scheme on July 1, 2015, with a budget allocation of Rs.200 crore. Subsequently, under the pilot project, 23 markets from 8 states were integrated by the Prime Minister on April 4, 2016. This scheme provides an online trading portal to farmers and enables them to have an access to transparent sale transactions and price discovery.