Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister claimed that the Agriculture Ministry is working sincerely to fulfill Prime Minister’s dream of doubling farmers income by 2022, quotes govt sources. “For the first time, a Prime Minister has put such a target in front of the nation for the welfare of farmers”, he added.
The Ministry is working on a Seven-point Strategy to achieve this”, Singh said.
The Ministry is working first on “Increase in production” which is possible by improving irrigation efficiency. Our government has increased the irrigation budget. ‘Per Drop More Crop’ is our motto. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana has been launched to mitigate the drought effect and to ensure ‘water to every farm’, he added.
Second area of focus is Effective use of input cost. For the first time, our government has introduced Soil Health Card Scheme to inform farmers about nutrients status of the soils. In addition, the Government has curbed illegal use of urea and ensured adequate supply through Neem Coated Urea scheme. The government is also encouraging organic farming. The adoption of new technologies in agriculture such as space technology is helping in better planning through forecasting of crop production, agricultural land-use mapping, drought prediction, and utilisation of fallow paddy fields for Rabi crops.
Third is Reduction of post-harvest losses. One of the biggest problems of the farmers is storage after harvesting as a result they are forced to sell their products at a lower cost. Therefore, the government is encouraging farmers to use warehouses and avoid distressed sales. Loans against negotiable warehouse receipts are being provided with interest subvention benefits. To protect farmers from losses, the government is focusing on storage facilities and integrated cold chains in rural areas.
Fourth is Value Addition. The government is also promoting quality through food processing. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana has been started and Rs.6, 000 crore has been allocated for this project. Under this scheme, food-processing capabilities will be developed by working on the forward and backward linkage of agro processing cluster, which will benefit 20 lakh farmers and create employment opportunities for about 5, 00,000.
Fifth is Reforms in Agriculture Marketing. The Central Government is emphasizing on the need of reforms in agriculture marketing. e-NAM was launched with three reforms and so far, 455 mandis have been linked to this platform. Online trading has begun on various mandis.
Sixth is Risk, Security and Assistance. The Government has initiated Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to reduce the possible risks. Not only that, 25% of the claim is settled immediately online but new technologies like Smartphones, satellite imagery and drones facilities are being utilised to carry out faster assessments of crop loss under PMFBY.
And finally last and 7th is Allied Activities which includes Horticulture, Integrated Farming, White Revolution, Blue Revolution: Blue Revolution, Sub-Mission on Agroforestry, Beekeeping and Rural Backyard Poultry Development.