New Delhi: Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that the various development and welfare schemes launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in the last three years helped farmers reap a record production of food grains during 2016-17. The production of pulses increased to 22.40 million tonnes in 2016-17 from 16.35 million tonnes in the previous years. Similarly, the production of food grains increased from 265 million tonnes to 273.38 million tonnes in 2016-17; and horticulture production increased from 244 million tonnes to 295 million tonnes. Shri Singh said it today at the inaugural function of four-day Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Centenary Krishi Unnati Mela organized by National Horticulture Board of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry in Mathura.
Shri Radha Mohan Singh further said that the government is committed to the development and welfare of the farmers and is rubbing shoulders with them under the guidance of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. The government is trying to make farmers economically stabile and increase their income by 2022 through various schemes like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Soil Health Card Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, National Agriculture Development Programme, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana launched in the last three years.
Shri Singh said farmers from 18 states and the entrepreneurs from various fields like horticulture, agriculture, livestock, dairy, fisheries etc. will be demonstrating and selling their products at the fair. What makes the fair more significant is the fact that it is being organized to mark the Birth Centenary Celebrations of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji who desired for farmers’ prosperity and welfare. Keeping his ideology under consideration, the Ministry is striving for the welfare and growth of the farmers.
Agriculture Minister said the Government is making constant efforts for development and welfare of horticulture, agriculture, and farmers. That is why the Central and the Uttar Pradesh Governments are organizing various programmes for the farmers. The farmers and the entrepreneurs will demonstrate and sell their best horticultural and agricultural products at the 70 stalls at the fair. And farmers are also learning about recent technologies used in the fields of horticulture and agriculture etc and getting expert advice from scholars from different agricultural fields.
Shri Singh said horticulture helps farmers in earning a profit and creating self-employment opportunities. The country has witnessed higher horticultural production than food grains which is contributing to nutrition security of the country. Apart from this, horticultural plays a significant role in the changing climate scenario.
Shri Singh suggested that the horticulture sector should adopt improved techniques used by developed nations. The farmers should use sophisticated techniques and machinery used by the developed nations to grow horticultural crops of international standards. The Government organizes demonstrations of sophisticated machines and technologies to encourage farmers to use the equipment and giving subsidy for the same.
On the occasion, the Union Agriculture Minister inaugurated an eco-friendly sewerage treatment plant of 75,000 liters capacity, developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute using indigenous technology. Wastewater (sewage water) will be recycled at the plant and will be reused for irrigation. This treatment will reduce 75 to 85 percent heavy metal pollution from the wastewater and such treated water is used for irrigation. The use of treated water for wheat and paddy cultivation helps in reducing the health risks by 44 to 58 percent.