Agriculture’s contribution in GDP will touch new heights; welfare of farmers will be promoted: Radha Mohan Singh

News Bharati English    31-Dec-2014

New Delhi, December 31: While addressing the journalists in a Press Conference organized in National Academy of Agriculture Science, Pusa in New Delhi on Tuesday, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh emphasized on Government’s priority on Enhancing Agriculture Production and Productivity.

He mentioned that the new Government has a very clear perception about holistic and sustainable growth of agriculture.

Singh mentioned the various initiatives and achievements of the Government during last seven months, to make the farmer-oriented policy aimed at lessening the distance between lab-to-land and infuse a new confidence among farmers.

In his speech he said that Government has taken an initiative to ensure Integrated Soil Management. During 2007-08 to April 2014, an amount of Rs.112 crore was released for Soil Testing Laboratories whereas Rs.86 crore have been released after May 2014. 

Initiatives taken by the Government:                                 

 1. The Government has sanctioned Rs.568.54 crore for the next three years to provide Soil Health Card to 14.5 crore farmers. Earlier, there was no separate scheme for Soil Health Card under Mission mode.

2. The Government has started National e-governance Scheme in agriculture sector with an allocation of Rs.886 crore. At block level, the number of agriculture extension workers has been increased by 8000. Now, their number has increased to 26,000 from 18,000.

3. Technical support to farmers in agriculture sector has been a problem area. To tackle this problem, we have set up 913 Farm Machinery Banks. Farmers will be able to take equipments on hire basis from these banks.

4. In addition, the Govt has distributed 72627 farm machinery equipments during last six months. An amount of Rs.1345 crore has been sanctioned to states for machinery banks and equipments/instruments whereas during 2013-14 figure for farm mechanization was Rs.1213 crore only.

5. An allocation of 50% under National Food Security Mission (NFSM) had been made for growth of pulses so as to encourage cultivation of pulses. Also, a decision has been taken to start the cultivation of pulses in the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and the North-Eastern States including Sikkim.

6. The Government has increased the subsidy amount to Rs.300/ha from Rs.100/ha to promote bio-fertilizers.

7. Government have established a special fund of Rs.500 crore as an important initiative. With the setting up of this Price Stabilization Fund, farmers will be able to get fair price of their products. We have called upon the State Governments to amend the APMC Act so that farmers may sell their fruits and vegetables direct to consumers.

So far, 12 States have agreed to our suggestion. States have been requested to set up Kisan Mandis and a kisan mandi is being established in Delhi. The entire country being connected through e-marketing under Agri Tech Infrastructure Fund.

8. The Government has given in-principle approval to a scheme of traditional agricultural development. The Prime Minister’s Krishi Sichai Yojana is under finalization. We also have a plan to make comprehensive amendments in the Cooperative Act and make available a 24-Hour exclusive TV Channel for farmers. We have also targeted to cover at least one family out of three families under Kisan Call Centre.

9. The Government has made several initiatives for development of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries sector under the National Gokul Mission. An allocation of Rs.500 crore has been made to protect and promote the breed of Desi Cows. So far, projects of Rs.378 crore have been sanctioned and Rs.123 crore have been released during the current financial year.

10. Under National Dairy Plan Phase-I from June to November 2014, 87 SP Projects has been sanctioned as compared to 41 SP Projects during the same period last year.

During June-November, 2014, Rs.133.56 crore subsidies have been released under Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme. National Livestock Mission has been made effective in the entire country.

He stressed on the point that the Fisheries Guidelines have been simplified further. Fishing boats of 15 mtr. Size or more can enter Exclusive Economic Zone to catch fish. In case of death of fishermen, insurance amount has been increased from Rs.1.00 lakh to Rs.2.00 lakhs.

Sanction for housing for 830 fishermen under Fishermen Welfare Scheme has been issued. Government will adopt latest technologies to promote Blue Revolution in the country. Under Mission Blue Revolution and RKVY, Government plans to establish new breeding centres cages, manufacturing of marine cages and cold water fishing with a provision of Rs.157 crore.

He said that the aim is to increase milk production to 150 million tonnes by 2016-17 and also organized dairy market will be extended.

During the conference, Radha Mohan Singh mentioned that there will be definite results of all these initiatives taken by the Government in the time to come and there will be growth in agricultural sector and welfare of farmers will be promoted. He said that constant efforts will mark agriculture’s contribution in GDP will touch newer heights with these initiatives.