Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today said the initiatives taken by the government for the welfare of farmers and the agriculture sector have started showing positive and encouraging results.
On the completion of three years of the Modi government, talking to reporters in New Delhi Singh said, the commitment of the government towards the welfare of the farmers is resulting in qualitative improvement in the lives of farmers.
The Minister said that during UPA government, the expenditure made by the Ministry used to be less than the budgetary allocation. For instance, during the year 2011-12 budgetary allocation was Rs.24, 526 crore and the amount spent was just Rs.23, 290 crore. Similarly, in the year 2012-13 budgetary allocation was Rs.28, 284 crore and the amount spent was Rs.24, 630 crore. In the year 2013-14, the budgetary allocation was Rs.30, 224 crore and the amount spent was Rs.25, 896 crore.
On the other hand, under the Modi government, the Ministry is spending more than the budgetary allocation for the welfare of the farmers. For instance, in the year 2016-17, the budgetary allocation was Rs. 45,035 crore, but it was increased to Rs. 57,503 crore in the revised budget. Keeping the welfare of the agriculture sector and farmers in mind, Modi government is increasing the budget every year For example, the total budget for the welfare of the agriculture sector during the UPA government’s four years – 2010-11 to 2013-14 – was Rs.1,04,337 crore, while the present government has allocated Rs.1,64,415 crore during the period of 2014-15 to 2017-18, which is 57.58 percent more.
Apart from focusing on the distribution of Soil Health Card, extension of irrigation facilities, low-cost organic farming, national agricultural market, horticulture development, Agroforestry, bee keeping, dairy, fish and egg production, it also focused on agricultural education, research and extension. More investment has been made to strengthen cooperatives. In the last three year, several initiatives were taken to make the country self-reliant in pulses and oilseeds. The farmers were provided unprecedented security through Prime Minister’s Fasal Bima Yojana, which has the lowest premium and covers various risks. The government has given priority to the interests of farmers by providing the District-wise contingency action plans and increasing the relief funds for the farmers affected by drought and hailstorm.
Foodgrain production of the year 2016-17 has broken all previous records. This year, the growth rate in agriculture and allied sector has been approximately 4.4 percent.According to 3rd advance estimate for 2016-17, the total foodgrain production is estimated to be 273.38 million tonnes which is 8.67 percent higher than that of the year 2015-16. For pulses, the production during 2016-17 is expected to be 22.40 million tonnes which will be a record production till date and is higher than that of the year 2015-16 by 37 percent.
Under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, a record coverage of 8 lakh 40 thousand hectares has been brought under micro irrigation during the year 2016-17. The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has increased the number of non-lonee farmers by 239 percent. And in the last three years, the number of non-lonee farmers increased by 128 percent in Rabi Crops compared to the preceding three years.