The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh, while inaugurating the new Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs), West Tripura said that the second green revolution will have to come from the eastern region of the country and to realise it, the north-eastern states will have to be brought under the national mainstream for the equitable agricultural development in this region. He further said that the Government is committed to developing the agriculture sector of the region.
On this occasion, the minister said that the Government has sanctioned 7 KVKs for the state of Tripura of which 5 are already functional and with this inauguration today 6 KVKs will become operational in the state and one more will also be operational soon. In addition, the site selection committee is also visiting the state for the selection of site for the 8th KVK. With this, all the districts in the state shall have a KVK each. Radha Mohan Singh said that he is confident that the KVKs will equip the farmers of the state with the desired skills and build their capacities through on farm testing and demonstration of the new technologies developed by Agricultural Scientists. He said that the Government is committed to provide at least 1 KVK in each of the districts of the Country. The total number of KVKs in the country has now gone up to 668, from 637 about 2.5 year ago, of which 78 KVKs are functional in the north-eastern states.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that the health of the soil affects the health and the productivity of crops and the animals and in view of this the Government has established mini soil testing labs in KVKs. For strengthening the KVKs, the staff strength of the KVKs has also been increased from 16 to 22.
He said that the KVKs are playing a pioneering role in the area of front line extension in extending various agricultural technologies amongst farming community and the state line departments. During the past one year, the KVKs have organized a total of 48,983 training programmes through which 13.21 lakh farmers and extension personnel have benefitted.
The Minister further said that Government is committed towards doubling the farmers’ income in next 5 years’ period. To achieve this goal, the union budget this year has laid major focus towards integrated agricultural development. Key focus areas of the Government are; making available agricultural credit at easier terms to the farmers, ensuring availability of the quality seeds and other essential inputs, creating irrigation infrastructure, improving soil health through distribution of soil health cards, creating market network through National Agricultural Market (E-NAM) and ensuring remunerative price for the farmer’s produce.
The Minister said that owing to the favourable monsoon and implementation of several policy initiatives and reforms by the Government of India, the country has achieved highest ever food grain production this year (271.89 Million tonnes) this year which is 6.94 million tonnes higher than the previous best of 265.04 million tonnes achieved during 2013-14. On this occasion, the Minister urged the State Government to fast track the implementation of the flagship schemes of the Government. For example, he said that the distribution of soil health cards under the Soil Health Card Scheme of the Government was below par, and the farmers have not been able to benefit from the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PMKSY) to the extent that they should have. The progress of the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana is also very slow. He also mentioned that no proposal has been received by the Government of India from the Government of Tripura to link with the E-NAM so far and urged the Government of Tripura to take urgent corrective action in this regard.