Radha Mohan Singh said to help farmers achieve double income both the Central Government and all the State Governments need to make multi-faceted joint efforts. He was speaking in the meeting of the State Ministers in-charge of Agricultural Marketing and Agriculture Ministers from different states in New Delhi.
In the meeting, the progress of two flagship schemes – National Agricultural Markets (E-Names) and Soil Health Card was reviewed.
Singh said the reduced cost of production and increased productivity could be the first fulcrum of the joint efforts. . The second fulcrum would be farmers diversifying themselves into activities such as animal husbandry, poultry, goat rearing, bee keeping, and timber plantation. The third and the most important thing would be that farmers could easily access markets to sell their produce and earn profitable returns.
Union Agriculture Minister pointed out that Soil Health Card (SHC) Scheme is the flagship scheme of the Government to promote the use of fertilisers based on analysis of Soil Health and enable farmers to get maximum yields at lower cost with minimum damage to the ecosystem.
In order to double the income of the farmers, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the National Agricultural Markets (e-NAM) scheme with a budget allocation of Rs 200 crore, Singh underlined.
As part of the pilot project, 21 Mandis of 8 states were linked to e-National Agricultural Markets (e-NAM) Scheme on 14/04/2016 by the Prime Minister. This scheme provides an online portal to the farmers for electronic trading and provides a transparent market enabling price discovery and competition.
For the success of the scheme, the State Governments need to make genuine efforts and the Ministers play a key role in this. e-NAM is a milestone in the promotion of digital India and digitization programs of the government, he underlined.
Singh mentioned the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh who stands out putting in extraordinary efforts to make the scheme a success and others could draw inspiration from him. The union minister also talked about the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act recently put in place and which provides the facility of creating private market yards and farmer-consumer markets. He called upon the States to enforce the act without delay.