There are new challenges in agriculture, small farmers need to be helped with technology at the ground level so that input costs can be reduced. The farmer should test his soil regularly and there is a need to speed up the pace of organic farming. Stating this at the State Agriculture Ministers' Conference in New Delhi today, Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Shri. Narendra Singh Tomar further added that the farmers should be given a proper price for their produce, agricultural marketing through e-NAM should be strengthened and agricultural exports should be increased.
Shri. Tomar in his inaugural address welcomed all the dignitaries and mentioned that this was the first conference with the States after the announcement of Union Budget 2019. The Minister emphasized the vision of the Prime Minister for doubling of farmers' income and urged the States to adopt various measures to reduce the cost of cultivation for better income generation for the farmers. Thanking all the States for their significant contribution for self-sufficiency in food grain production, the Minister urged them to shift their attention from production-oriented to market-oriented agriculture with a specific focus on export of agricultural produce. The Minister also asked the States to prioritize their efforts and facilitate farmers for judicious use of fertilizers based on the report of Soil Health Card.
The Agriculture Minister requested the States to create awareness among the farmers on water conservation practices through drip & sprinkler irrigation and water harvesting. He further emphasized on the need of States to develop a synergy with Centre for better implementation of farmer welfare schemes & programs at field level. Shri Tomar also requested States for their suggestions and feedback with regard to policy directions.
Shri. Sanjay Agarwal, Agriculture Secretary welcomed the Hon'ble Ministers and briefed about the objective of organizing this conference at the onset of Kharif season. Expressing his gratitude to the States for the success of PM Kisan, the Secretary said that States have done a commendable job in a short span.
The State Agriculture Ministers from 12 States were present along with senior officials from other States. The morning session of the daylong conference had presentations on PM Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM Kisan), PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojna, Kisan Credit Card (KCC), PM Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY), e-National Agriculture Market (e- NAM), Organic Farming and Market Reforms. This session was followed by an interactive session with State Agriculture Ministers and with Senior Officials from states.
(With Inputs from PIB)