Farmers are feeling helpless and in this regard, the government has introduced new scheme ‘Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture (ARYA)’ so that rural youth may get attracted towards farming to curb rural migration, Radha Mohan Singh, Agriculture Minister said while addressing the AMATHON, 2016 today at Ahmedabad.
The AMATHON- a Three Days International Agriculture Trade Summit is being organised at IIM Ahmedabad from 15-17 January 2016.
The Minister said that agriculture is being developed more sustainable occupation and profitable by increasing production, entrepreneurship, cooperativeness and crop innovations.
According to National Sample Survey, approximately 90 percent farmers possess land holdings less than 2 hectare, out of which 42 percent farmers have taken loans from banks and 26 percent are still dependent upon money lenders. Singh said that in the present context, due to adverse circumstances such as climate change, increasing cost of inputs, lack of remunerative prices of farm produce, farmers are in distress and rural youths are not taking interest in farming.
According to the Minister, extensive awareness is being created among farmers about agri-business, profitable production systems, new research. programmes & schemes of Agriculture Departments, domestic and global level markets and other stakeholders. Our Government is committed towards dissemination of agricultural technologies. Large numbers of extension workers of State Agriculture and allied departments working at district level are being trained through Krishi Vigyan Kendras(KVKs) on practical aspects of improved technologies and are successfully disseminating technologies to the farmers. “In addition to research, we have emphasised on technology development and its overall dissemination at field level. With this, we are moving ahead towards the significant progress in production of pulses, fruits, vegetables, milks, fisheries and eggs,” Singh added.
The government has launched various schemes for agriculture development and in the interest of farmers. Ambitious schemes like ‘Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana’ is being implemented to provide irrigation to every field; ‘Soil Health Card’ to improve soil fertility, ‘Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana’ for bringing more area under organic farming; ‘Agri-tech Infrastructure Fund’ and ‘National Agriculture Market’ for providing remunerative prices to farmers. Keeping in view the continuous intensive cultivation of land, which resulted in reduced soil fertility, the ‘Soil Health Card Scheme’ has been launched by the Prime Minister.
The Minister said that the Government is committed to promote Organic Farming which improves soil health and leads to better quality crops. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, a new scheme to develop ogranic clusters and make available chemical free inputs to farmers will be implemented. In the next three years, it is proposed to form 10,000 cluster covering 5 lakh acre area.
About new initiatives, Singh said Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav invisages involvement agricultural experts of agricultural universities and ICAR institutes for effective and deeper reach of scientific farming to the villages. For this purpose 5, 000 groups of four scientists each will be visiting 25,000 villages in a year duing their holidays or vacations. Each year 25, 000 villages will be added to this list through this scheme.
IARI initiated novel scheme Krishi Dak in 20 districts in which postmen will supply seeds of improved varieties of crops to the farmers in far-flung areas. Owing to its success and popularity, this scheme is being extended in 100 districts of 14 states with the association of Krishi Vigyan Kendras. This will provide improved seed to farmers at their doorsteps.