Indian Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh addressed a day-long conference on the theme, “How Government, Industry and Farmers can work together to Make Farming More Profitable”, in Mumbai on 23 January 2019. The conference is being organized by Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI).
Following are the highlights of the Minister’s address:
Union Budget 2019 will be dedicated to the farmer. It will be another step forward, in contributing to the realization of the goal of doubling farmers’ income by the year 2022.
Remarkable progress has been made in agriculture sector, as a result of the schemes and policies of the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
In order to ensure remunerative price for farmers’ produce, e-NAM has been started.
Cost of production has been reduced due to neem-coated urea, soil health card, mechanization and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).
The Minister stated that the government is implementing several programmes to develop the agricultural sector and improve the economic condition of farmers. He said that issues such as reducing cost of production, ensuring remunerative price for farmers’ produce, stopping wastage of farmers’ produce and ensuring alternative sources of income are being addressed in mission mode.
Singh said that impressive growth has been recorded in production of food grains, pulses, milk and also in horticulture and fisheries.
Singh said that the budgetary outlay of the Ministry of Agriculture has been increased to Rs. 2,11,694 crore during 2014-19. "Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana", a landmark scheme to reduce the risks associated with agriculture, is being implemented across the country.
The Minister informed that in the last 54 months, 585 mandis have been linked with e-NAM; by the year 2020, 415 more mandis will be linked, he added. He said that many soil testing labs have been made operational; efforts are being made to make them portable as well.
The Minister said that Government and industry have been working together to help farmers confront the challenges facing them; we need to expedite the support we provide them. He also noted that agricultural scientist Shri M. S. Swaminathan has complimented the efforts and decisions taken by the Government, in implementing the recommendations of Swaminathan Commission.
The Minister added that for the development of dairy and fisheries, National Dairy Plan-1 (NDP-1), National Programme for Dairy Development, Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme and Blue Revolution are being implemented. For the conservation and preservation of indigenous breeds, Rashtriya Gokul Mission is being implemented. The Minister informed that a separate Dairy and Infrastructure Processing Fund has been created, improving farmer income in Nagpur and many other neighbouring districts. Beekeeping is an allied activity which not only helps in more income for farmers but also in pollination of crops, added the Minister.
The Minister recalled that as per the announcements made in Budget 2018, the Union Cabinet has approved a new Umbrella Scheme “Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan’ (PM-AASHA) to ensure remunerative price for farmers’ produce. It is commendable that the government has increased the Minimum Support Price to 1.5 times that of the production cost.
The Minister concluded by stating that it is a matter of pride that due to the implementation of the government’s programmes, India is a large fast-growing economy, and that the Government will continue to work for farmer welfare, and for doubling the income of farmers.
Addressing the gathering, Minister, Finance & Planning, Forests, Government of Maharashtra, Sudhir Mungantiwar said that, in India, we sell what we produce, we don't produce what can be sold; he underlined the need to shift the mindset to thinking about what and how much to produce, and where and when we need to sell.
Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India, Parshottam Rupala; Minister for Agriculture & Horticulture, Government of Maharashtra, Chandrakant Patil; Chairman, CCFI, Rajju Shroff and various representatives of industry, academia and farming community were present for the day-long deliberations.