Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh said Indian agriculture has made rapid growth in food, fruits, vegetables, dairy and fishery production. The minister was speaking at the inauguration of two-day national level workshop on Peri-Urban Agriculture, organized by Haryana Agriculture Department. He further said that the unprecedented development in agricultural production is setting an example for the world and they are trying to learn our techniques and adopt them. He said, in the last three years, the Ministry has developed innovative schemes, provided necessary funds and made policy-making decisions which had a far-reaching effect on the agriculture sector.
Singh said to achieve the target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, set by PM Narendra Modi, the Ministry is not only working towards increasing the production but also focusing on proper processing techniques, traffic, and market expansion to make agriculture profitable. He said under Peri-Urban Agriculture small and large-scale agricultural production will be done in and around the cities.
The Agriculture Minister further said that Peri-Urban Agriculture can help in climate change adaptation through diversification of food resources for the urban population. Singh said due to rapid urbanization in the past years, demand for vegetables, fruits and flowers is constantly increasing in these areas. Peri-Urban Agriculture can contribute to price stabilization through the development of important local food production centres of the diversified food system. This will reduce the burden on transport, and help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cold storages.
Singh said that, we are developing a system that will supply food to cities from 100 to 200 km. This will help in creating attractive employment option and prevent the conversion of agricultural land near urban areas into cities and towns. The government is promoting quality in agriculture through food processing and in this regard Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana has been launched with an allocation of Rs. 6,000 crore rupees.
The Minister said that Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) has helped in production and productivity, post-harvest management and marketing by providing assistance in the production of quality seeds, protected agriculture, vegetable and organic farming.
Singh said that, cow and buffaloes rearing around the cities for milk is an ancient practice. Ministry of Agriculture has implemented important schemes to promote milk production. The Minister added said that Rashtriya Gokul Mission was launched in December 2014 to conserve and develop indigenous breeds in a focused and scientific manner. The projects have been sanctioned in 27 states of the country with the funds of Rs.1,077 crore under the Mission to double the productivity of domestic bovines. Through this process, the species of 41 domestic bovines and 13 mahish bovines is being promoted and developed. A sum of Rs. 173 crore has been sanctioned for 18 Gokul Grams in 12 states under Gokul Gram Scheme. For the first time, two National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres in Chintaldevi district Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, and Itarsi, district Hoshangabad, MP, with the funds of Rs. 50 crore are being established for the preservation and promotion of domestic bovines in scientific way. With Rs.10 crore, 2 Gokul villages are being set up in Haryana – one in Hisar and one in Ladwa Gaushala. An announcement has been made for implementation of DIDF (Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund) with an outlay of Rs 10,881 crore under the ambitious White Revolution Mission.
Singh said that keeping in view the tremendous potentialities of fisheries sector our Prime Minister has declared Blue Revolution. Along with its multi-dimensional activities, the Blue Revolution focuses on the enhancement of fish production and productivity through inland and marine fisheries. The government has also started a new scheme with the name of Deep Sea Fishing under the umbrella of Blue Revolution.
The Agriculture Minister said that the Ministry is also working on Honey Revolution. The National Bee Board has given 205% more financial assistance in the last three years. The number of bee colonies increased from 20 lakh to 30 lakh. There has been 20.54% increase in the production of honey. The center-funded scheme of national beekeeping and honey mission is also being prepared. Singh said that through Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), the government is promoting organic farming in the country. Under this scheme, farmers are encouraged to form groups for organic farming. Under Promotion of City Compost, the Government is providing market development assistance of Rs. 1,500 per metric tonne.