Soon after taking charge of the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry on Saturday, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar held a review meeting with senior officers of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare at Krishi Bhawan. His juniors Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary were also present in the meeting.
Secretary Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Sanjay Agarwal welcomed the Ministers and briefed them about major initiatives and priorities of the Department. Other senior officials explained programs, policies and activities of their divisions and institutions.
Addressing the officials Tomar reminded them of the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for doubling farmers’ income by 2022 and he urged the officials to focus on realizing this goal. The Minister emphasized on strengthening and fast tracking of e-NAM to facilitate agricultural trading.
Tomar also stressed on the need to strengthen field institutions and coordination with State Governments for expanding out-reach and extension to farmers. He urged the Agriculture Ministry officials to make a lasting contribution with integrity, team spirit and focused approach in their respective fields for the growth of agricultural production and welfare of farmers.
In their address both the Ministers of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary emphasised on the vision of the Prime Minister for doubling farmers’ income by 2022 and urged all the officers to put in their best efforts.
Ministers also addressed the media after taking charge and lauded the Prime Minister for his leadership and his concern for farmers. Tomar said acting on poll promises the Modi government in its first cabinet meeting approved extension of the PM-Kisan income support scheme to all farmers, removing the ceiling of two hectares, and also cleared a pension scheme for agriculturists. A new initiative was also taken to control animal diseases to support livestock rearing farmers.
The Minister said the pension scheme will provide cover to farmers and it is also for the first time since independence that such coverage has been envisioned for farmers. It is estimated that 5 crore small and marginal farmers will benefit in the first three years. On PM-Kisan he said that the revised scheme is expected to cover around 2 crore more farmers, increasing the coverage of PM-Kisan to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries.
There was however, no mention of cooperative in the minister’s speech but it was too early to comment, said an official on condition of anonymity. Tomar had called on former union minster Radha Mohan Singh before taking up his new assignment.