Jammu, Sep 10: As part of the ongoing public outreach initiatives of the Centre Government, Union Minister for Agriculture, Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Ministers of State for Agriculture, ShobhaKarandlaje and Kailash Choudhary today visited Jammu and took stock of agriculture and horticulture related activities in the region.
During an event organised at village Maralian, in RS Pura sub-division, the Union Agriculture Minister expressed delight and said, “Farmers of J&K are showing extraordinary enthusiasm for availing benefits of the government’s schemes”.
‘Around 85 percent of farmers of India have land holding of less than 2 hectares, the minister said, and it is by strengthening these farmers that the nation can truly prosper’. He stressed that in order to double the farmer’s income, they need to shift from traditional methods and opt for modernisation and diversification of crops. He also laid impetus on maintaining quality to match global standards.
The Minister informed that the Prime Minister is working towards giving boost to agriculture and allied sectors, so as to ensure greater exports of exceptional quality. He lauded the Government for implementing “200 out of 201” recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee and highlighted that ‘the most significant recommendation to be accepted has been to ensure that farmers get at least 50 percent profit over their investment’. Some crops are even earning them profit of about 100 percent, he added.
Detailing the PM-KisanSamman Nidhi Yojana, the Minister informed that the Centre Government has already disbursed Rs 1,58,000 crore to more than 11 crore farmers through the scheme. More than 17 hundred farmers of J&K have also received an amount of Rs 6 thousand per year under the scheme, told the minister.
Acknowledging the efforts of Lieutenant Governor, the Principal Secretary said that through his intervention, marginal farmers and orchardists with land holding of 1 kanal are now being provided government support. Earlier the minimum requirement was capped at 4 kanal.
Meanwhile, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare today visited Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu and lays foundation stone of Gene Bank and Cold Storage facility at Mega Seed.
The Ministers also visited Integrated farming system, newly developed laboratory of School of Biotechnology besides flagging off Beej Vahan to mark the launch of Rabi campaign at Mega Seed unit of SKUAST-Jammu. The minister inspected exhibition stalls laid by farmers’, agri-startups and KVKs of University.
The Union Minister in his address on the occasion said that he is feeling happy by visiting SKUAST-Jammu and has seen a transformation in agriculture sector of J&K Union territory.
The Union Minister informed the gathering that Rs 158000 cr rupees have been transferred in the bank accounts of 11 Lakh farmers of India under PM KisanSamman Nidhi Yojana whereas Rs 1723 crores have been transferred to the farmers of UT of J&K. The government is following the procedure for fixation of Minimum Support Price of Agricultural Produce as recommended by Swaminathan committee which is fifty percent more of the cost of cultivation. However, the MSP announced recently for Rabi crops is almost 100 percent more than the cost of cultivation. The present Budget of Agriculture has also increased to Rs 123000 cr which was Rs 23000 cr in 2014.
Union Minister appreciated the efforts of Central Government for formation of 10000 FPOs to strengthen the 85% of Marginal and small farmers of India. He said Kisan Credit Card scheme was launched by the Vajpayee Govt has saved the farmers from the clutches of Money lenders. Union Minister also informed that the document related to role of agricultural education in National Education Policy 2020 will be released shortly by the ICAR.