New Delhi : Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Government is working to increase the application of Technology in the Agriculture sector and develop infrastructure in each village, which will create employment opportunities in Agriculture sector and attract the educated youth in the villages. Technology and Infrastructure will benefit the farmers, as well as improve the Agriculture sector. Calling for merging every individual’s efforts with the Prime Minister’s resolve, Shri Tomar said this will help us find a permanent solution to make farmers prosperous and modernize Agriculture.
“By the Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal, Centenary Year of Indian Independence, Indian Agriculture should emerge as the world leader. Let the world laud India’s Agriculture during the Amrit Kaal, come here to seek knowledge, this should be a matter of pride for us all, India should be able to fulfil its role of welfare of the world,” said Shri Tomar.
Union Minister Shri Tomar said this delivering the concluding episode of a series of Lectures organized by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The series started on 17th March 2021 and 75 lectures on various topics were delivered by experts, eminent scientists, policy-makers, spiritual leaders, motivational speakers and successful entrepreneurs. During the concluding episode, Shri Tomar delivered the lecture on “Self-Reliant Agriculture”. He said that the Prime Minister has been constantly trying to ensure that the Agriculture sector gets full support and cooperation from the Government, therefore many schemes have been launched, and work is going on with the cooperation of the State Governments.
“PM Shri Modi has also given importance to the Agriculture sector in his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort, which shows his intention to bring change in this sector. PM had called for doubling the farmers’ income, use of technology in Agriculture and the power of small farmers grows, our farming should be transformed into Self-Sufficient Agriculture, there should be adequate Infrastructure, let there be transparency in the implementation of agricultural plans, more research should be commissioned, farmers should shift towards remunerative crops, with increasing production and productivity farmers should get fair price for their produce. On this call of the PM, the State Governments, farmer brothers and sisters, and scientists are engaged with full force and in this ICAR also is playing the leading role. In the recent past there has been a different type of competition among the farmers as to how to increase the income, as well as after the call of PM Shri Modi, the Corporate sector also felt that their contribution to Agriculture should rise,” he said.
Referring to the development journey of Indian Agriculture and the contribution of ICAR, Shri Tomar said that today India is among the world’s leading countries in agricultural production.
“We are providing for our food requirements as well as to other countries. The Government of India is making efforts that this journey picks further momentum. Agriculture and farmers have to move towards self-reliance. ICAR and agricultural scientists have done a great job in the development of Agriculture. Their endeavour has been to invent new seeds, deliver them to the fields, increase productivity, develop new technologies and deliver them to the farmers. This includes release of climate resilient seed varieties and fortified varieties. Scientists have done good work in all fields in a short time, which is benefitting the country. ICAR is a very important institution, whose arms are spread across the country. The institute is engaged to meet the needs of agriculture. On the occasion of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the ICAR family and all affiliated institutions, scientific and agricultural universities should resolve that within a stipulated period, they can establish themselves at the international level and the prestige of the country set high in the world map, we should be able to contribute to the world in the agriculture sector,” he said.
Shri Tomar said that ICAR is also working responsibly from the point of view of Agriculture Education. Work has been done on the inclusion of Agriculture sector in the New Education Policy. In schools also, initiatives have been taken in this direction, so that from the very beginning, children have a better understanding and awareness about Agriculture and they are aware of its importance. Today it is necessary that we work to establish new dimensions of Agriculture and to advance Agriculture. There are 86 percent small farmers in the country, who are not in a position to invest, it is important for us to improve the financial condition of these farmers. For this, ten thousand new Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) have been proposed to be set up with an expenditure of Rs 6,865 crore. Of these, about 3,000 FPOs have already been formed. Through these FPOs, the small farmers will unite, which will lead to increase in the area of cultivation and they will be able to use technology together, buy good quality seeds in bulk at low prices and use them, they will move towards modern farming, which will increase their power and small farmers will be able to become self-reliant.
Shri Tomar said that the Government has made a provision of Infrastructure Fund of one lakh crore rupees for private investment in agriculture sector. Also, there is a fund of more than one and a half lakh crore rupees including other allied sectors. Projects worth 14 thousand crore rupees have been commissioned under the Agri Infra Fund, out of which projects worth Rs.10 thousand crores have been approved. The means of irrigation are also increasing, water is limited, so the focus is on micro irrigation. To take the benefits of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana to the common farmers, Micro Irrigation Fund has been raised from Rs. 5 thousand crores to Rs. 10 thousand crores. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi has proved to be a boon for small farmers. So far, 2 lakh crore rupees have been deposited in the bank accounts of about 11-and-a-half crore farmers under this scheme.
During the Lecture programme, the Welcome Address was delivered by Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Director General, ICAR. Deputy Director General, ICAR, Dr. R.C. Agarwal did conducted the proceedings. Former DG, ICAR, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Vice Chancellors of Agricultural Universities, ICAR officials, senior faculty, scientists, professors, teachers and students, among others attended the ICAR Lecture.