Apprising Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the significant strides made by India in agriculture and allied sectors during the last few years, Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture, said that India had not only achieved self-sufficiency in food but also did extremely well in horticulture, dairy production, fisheries, post harvest management and development of cold chain infrastructure.
“Agriculture contributes to 13.7% of the Indian GDP and a source of employment for 22% of total population. A growth rate of 4% has been envisaged for the agriculture sector and investments in agriculture and allied sector during 2012-13 have been of the order of Rs. 181.81 billion,” mentioned the minister.
Mentioning Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) as a ambitious programme, Singh said that it will facilitate holistic development of agriculture and allied sectors by incentivising the states to increase public investment and building robust infrastructure and creating assets for filling identified gaps.
He also described other important initiatives, which include National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) which seeks to address climate change adaptation technologies in the areas of resource conservation, water use efficiency enhancement, soil health management, integrated farming system and mainstreaming rain-fed technologies.
Singh also apprised FAO of the Kisan Call Centres, which aim to provide information to farming community through toll free telephone number on all seven days of week and a SMS Portal for Farmers functioning since July 2013 for disseminating information, giving topical and seasonal advisories and providing services through SMSs to farmers in the local languages.