Govt schemes key for increasing agri productivity: Minister
The Dollar Business Bureau Despite a rain deficit of 12% in monsoon, the agricultural sector witnessed only an insignificant decrease in the overall production. And, there was only a 2% decrease in the sowing area, during the last year. Referring to the Centre’s efforts in ensuring in achieving the above numbers, the Union Agricultural Minister Radha Mohan Singh called upon the need for better understanding of governmental schemes like Soil Health Management System, ‘Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana’, Unified National Agriculture Market and ‘Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana’, for an increased agricultural productivity yield. The Minister was speaking at a National Conference on Agriculture for Kharif Campaign 2015, organised in National Agriculture Science Centre, Pusa, New Delhi, on Tuesday. Further stating that the organic farming plays a key role in agriculture production, the Minister informed that a fund of Rs 300 crore has been allocated in the current year for promotion of organic farming. The Minister called upon the farmers to avail the necessary benefits from the governmental schemes, under this move to promote organic farming. Fifty or more farmers can form a group and their 50 acre land if considered for organic farming, will be provided with a provision for Rs 20,000 per acre for a period of three years, along with a supporting system from production level to final marketing of the crops, he informed. Highlighting the need for proper marketing facilities for an improved agricultural sector, the Minister mentioned about the e-Marketing facility to connect with markets. Informing that the Centre is considering an increase in norms of National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), the Minister urged the State governments to utilize the funds under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) with reference to compensation in the context of unseasonal rains. The States have been authorized to notify the disaster in the local context, however, they will be allowed to spend only 10% of the SDRF as relief expenditure, the Minister added. The Minister, on a whole, called upon the States to extend their full cooperation in meeting the challenges in the Agriculture sector and also in making the governmental schemes successful in promoting the sector.
This article was published on April 7, 2015.