The Central Government is committed to higher growth in agriculture through sustainable development. For this, a number of schemes have been initiated which include soil health card scheme; ‘Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana’; through ‘Pradhanmantri Gram Sinchai Yojana’, enhanced water efficiency through ‘Per Drop More Crop’. This was said by Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of Agriculture, Government of India while addressing Asian Seed Congress, organised by Asia and Pacific Seed Association in Goa today.
The minister said that the Government has also taken up continued support to employment guarantee schemes, creation of a unified National Agriculture Market to boost the incomes of farmers.
He further added, “It is well known fact that agriculture production and productivity is mainly dependent on quality seeds and organising such an event would definitely help in increasing availability of quality seeds at regional, national and global level. The seed sector not only helps in improving the production and productivity of agriculture crops but it also helps in generating employments and growth of allied sectors like dairying, animal husbandry, fisheries, poultry among others.
“One of the important features of the seed sector in India is that it has equal and important role played by both public and private sectors. Organising of such events not only provides business opportunities to the seed industries but also provides feedback and inputs researchers and scientists for initiating new research and technology to overcome those constraints for the welfare of the agrarian society,” the minister further said.
The Indian agriculture sector has made commendable progress during the last four decades and from a food deficient country in sixties, today India has become a food sufficient country. Baring pulses and oilseeds, the country is surplus in many food crops and are able to feed our growing population.
The Indian seed market is rapidly growing, during the recent past and the hybrid seed market of vegetables has shown remarkable growth. India also gives equal attention towards the development of high volume low price food, cereal crops, which are mainly handled by our public sector. Indian seed industry can become a major supplier of seed for the global markets. The country has high potential for hybrid seed production with special reference to high value vegetable seeds at cheaper cost as compared to other countries, of its diverse agro-climatic zones, skilled/knowledge human resource and enterprise which offer opportunity for diverse seed production for export especially that of high value hand pollinated vegetables, field crops and flower seeds.
Besides vegetables, the seeds of Hybrid corn, Hybrid paddy, Hybrid pearl millet and hybrid cotton have high potential for export in Asian and African countries.
“The potential of the agriculture sector for rural rejuvenation cannot be neglected as about 60 percent of our country’s population depends on agriculture for livelihood. Studies have indicated that one percentage growth in agriculture sector is two to three times more effective in reducing poverty than one percentage growth in other sectors. Therefore, Ministry of Agriculture aims to achieve the rejuvenation of this sector for farmers’ welfare. The government has been taking various initiatives to counter the challenges faced by farmers,” the agriculture minister added.