Srinagar: Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday said that the centre government stands shoulder to shoulder with farmers of J&K while urging them to move forward and “take Kashmir forward as well.”
“I am happy that farmers of J&K are moving forward and taking benefits of government schemes,” Tomar told reporters here during a press conference.
“Center stands shoulder to shoulder with the farmers of J&K,” he said while referring to government’s implementation of the agriculture infrastructure scheme.
“I feel happy that till now we have received proposals worth Rs 10,000 crore from states and about Rs 5,000 crore worth of proposals have been accepted by banks and work is in progress on them,” he added.
Tomar is on a two-day visit to Kashmir as part of the Centre's special public outreach programme. Nearly 70 ministers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Council of Ministers are on visit to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Under the PM-Kisan yojana, the government, he said, ensured that every farmer gets Rs 6000 per year. “So far over 11 crore farmers have received 1.58 lakh crore in their accounts,” he said.
“There was no reform in the agriculture sector since a long time and the doors for private investment were almost closed. There is investment from the government, but unless private investment and hard work join together, no sector moves forward,” he said, adding that private investment in any sector will increase employment opportunities, small farmers will be able to use technology and get attracted to costlier crops and produce crops according to global standards.
The Union Minister said that small farmers, having less than two hectares of farm land, comprise of 85 per cent of the total farmers in the country. “Our farmer is hardworking. Governments (at the centre and in states) have also made attempts which have resulted into our country becoming a surplus in food grain production,” he said. “On a global scale, we are number one or two in terms of agriculture production.”
“There was a time when our policies were production oriented, but now India is in a great position as far as production is concerned. So the government of India has decided to frame policies focusing on the income of farmers,” he said, adding that the Prime Minister has said that the central and state governments have to work with farmers to double their income by 2022.
Tomar said that the government was setting up 10,000 farmer producer organisations (FPO) and will spend Rs 6,850 crore on them. “These FPOs will change the status of lives of small farmers, decrease their costs and increase their power of bargaining,” he said.