The Government has taken a number of initiatives to increase agriculture production, develop high quality seeds, increase storage capacity, mobile soil testing labs, developing facilities for processing and packaging and steps to reach the benefits of various research works from lab to land.
Union Agriculture Minister, Radha Mohan Singh enumerated various initiatives taken by the Government since its formation in May 2014.
The Government has launched Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) to promote use of organic farming and reduce dependence on chemical inputs, the minister said.
Making a mention of Soil Health Card Scheme, he said that these cards will be issued to 3 crore farmers during current year and 5.5 crore cards each during next two years. Also 100 mobile soil testing laboratories will be made available during the current year, he added.
The minister said that during August 2014, 5 new customised fertilisers have been approved, so that farmers may get required nutrients for their fields. Mentioning initiatives in horticulture sector, Singh said that with the launch of Saffron Park recently at Pampore in Jammu & Kashmir, facility for processing packaging, e-auction of saffron will be available. Under a new initiative named ‘Chaman’ the horticulture crops would be mapped through remote sensing (Satellites).
The minister further added that under National Agro-forestry Policy 2014 a platform will be provided to stimulate component of farming system which will lead to meeting the ever increasing demand of timber, food, fuel, fodder, fertiliser, fibre and other agro-forestry products; conserving the natural resources and forest; protecting the environment and providing environmental security; and increasing the forest and tree cover.
The Government has also taken all possible steps to meet the challenge of drought and has announced a subsidy of 50 percent in diesel, seeds, where 50 percent rainfall deficit has been reported. An additional allocation of Rs. 700 crore under ‘Mission of Integrated Development of Horticulture’ (MIDH) during current year for availability of fodder has been made. In addition, waiver of duty on import of de-oiled soya extract, groundnut oil cake, sunflower oil cake, canola oil meal, mustard oil cake, rice bran and palm kerne l cake to increase availability of feed ingredients will also be given.
A new scheme is proposed to be started in consultation with the State Governments to provide insurance cover to production, productivity and farmers’ income. Government has also started giving online information regarding the registration of Multi State Cooperative Committees. In order to give better information facility about 30.5 crore agricultural messages were sent to farmers through SMS portal.
Mentioning initiative in crops and seeds development sector the minister said that pulse production under National Food Security Mission (NFSM) in all districts of J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand, Coarse cereals production under NFSM in entire North-Eastern Region (excluding Assam) has been made effective.