New Delhi: Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that the unprecedented and multi-faceted development of Indian agriculture post-independence is unparalleled. Shri Singh said the world is eager to study and adapt our growth strategy. The Agriculture Minister said it today while addressing a conference on Fruits & Vegetables, Dairy, Poultry & Fisheries – Leveraging the Diverse India Opportunity at World Food India 2017 in New Delhi.
The Agriculture Minister said that at the time of independence, we were unable to feed 34 crore population, but today, thanks to the hard work and wisdom of our policymakers, farmers, scientists, and food production officers, we have moved ahead among the countries suffering from food shortages and not only providing food to 134 million population but have also become a food exporter.
Shri Singh said that with just two percent of the world’s land we are not just feeding 17 percent of the global population, 11.3 percent livestock and vast genetic inheritance, but also exporting food. He said that today we are the world’s largest milk producer, second largest fruits and vegetable producer, third in the production of fish and holds fifth place in egg production.
Shri Singh said that at the time of Independence, per capita of milk supply was 130 gram per day to the 34 million population and today per capita of milk supply has increased to 337-gram milk per day to 134 million people. This is an incomparable achievement in milk production. The Minister further said that we export a lot of agricultural commodities which is about 10 percent of the country’s total exports.
The World Food India, which is being organized in the national capital, is a unique platform where delegates from 60 countries of the world will not only understand but also assess our progress.
The Agriculture Minister said that special emphasis has been given to the overall agricultural growth. The Government has taken various steps to increase the agricultural sector’s growth rate. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, e-NAM, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Soil Health Card are some of our key schemes. The Government has allowed 100% FDI in food processing.
Shri Singh said that the Government is implementing Horticulture Development for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) scheme for the Integrated Horticulture Development Mission & Integrated Horticulture Development Mission, which includes various cold chain such as Pack Houses/ Central Sorting, Pr-Cooling, Reefer Vehicle, Primary processing units and Ripening chambers. It also includes processing units in the North-Eastern and Himalayan states.
Under MIDH, 4392 cold storages/ CA Stores of 19.47 million MT capacity, 20710 Farm Pack Houses, 411 Referral Transport, 408 Ripening Chambers, 4414 Primary Processing Units, and 101 Precooling Units have been set up as on March 31, 2017.
The Agriculture Minister said that under the MIDH, the State is promoting the Horticulture Mission, Horticulture crops / Farm level programs to develop the collective area of fruits and vegetables including processing varieties in the field of Mega Food Parks and Export Promotion Areas. In 2016-17, export of horticultural product was 5.03 million MT (Fresh fruits and vegetables – 4.16 million MT, processed fruit, and vegetable – 0.88 million MT, flower farming – 33725 MT) and there has been a 12 percent growth in terms of value.