A separate policy should be made for agriculture in mountain states, suggested chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. He said this while attending a video conference held by the Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare minister Narendra Singh Tomar with the CMs and agriculture ministers of various states.
Tomar said that the Centre is consistently taking various steps to double the income of farmers. State governments have also contributed to this effort. Stating that the government’s aim is to ensure private investment in the agriculture sector reaches the farms and villages, he said that the Rs one lakh crore package for agriculture infrastructure will prove to be a major step.
The Union minister said that to boost this programme, the states should organise a seminar to discuss scope for development of agriculture infrastructure. A survey should be conducted to find gaps in the sector and schemes should be drafted to address these. The government has set a target for establishing 10,000 farmer producers organisations (FPOs), said the minister. Tomar further said that the fund announced by the government will also help in developing post harvesting infrastructure and ending the role of middlemen. It will also be used for developing infrastructure including cold storage integrated pack houses, supply chain services, community farm machinery, refrigerated transportation and community drying yard. Through self-reliant agriculture, the government wants to make entrepreneurs out of farmers. All states should provide their plans to the ministry by March 31, 2021, he added.
Speaking in the conference, CM Trivendra Singh Rawat said that the scheme to make farmers self-reliant will prove to be a milestone in efforts aimed at doubling their income. He said that the State will meet the target of establishing two FPOs in each district in time. “The conditions in Uttarakhand are different compared to other plain states. Most of our state’s geographical area is mountainous and has varied climatic conditions,” said Rawat, while advocating a separate policy for mountainous states. Stating that there is considerable scope for unseasonal fruits and vegetables in Uttarakhand, he said that focusing on these can increase the income of farmers. There is also considerable potential in the state for cultivation of herbs, he added. Rawat also mentioned some of the efforts being undertaken by the state government to double the income of farmers. The Union minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Purushottam Rupala, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and agriculture ministers of various states also expressed their views in the conference. Officials concerned were also present in the meeting.
Saturday, 22 August 2020 | PNS | Dehradun