Rabi crops especially wheat has not been affected due to ‘not so normal’ weather condition and there is no need to panic, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said while talking to reporters in New Delhi.
He said that the government is monitoring climatic change and so far no state has reported any damage of wheat harvest because of recent climatic conditions. “The Rabi crops will be normal,” the Minister hoped.
Singh also said that the government has already identified the anomalies of ongoing crop insurance scheme launched by the UPA government. “Those anomalies have been corrected and a comprehensive new crop insurance policy will soon go to Cabinet for approval. We will implement new policy by the end of current fiscal,” he added.
The government is taking measures to reduce the impact of such natural calamities, he said adding "We cannot stop the natural calamities but we can reduce its impact with use of new technologies and contingency plan."
Sowing of rabi crops has begun from October. The ongoing sowing operation of rabi crops has been affected due to high temperature in some parts as well as floods in South India, especially in Tamil Nadu.
Singh said that the National Conference in Gangtok on sustainable agriculture will deliberate upon challenges and identify initiatives to transform agriculture based on sustainable and efficient use of resources like soil and water, higher per unit yield, remunerative prices on produce, risk coverage and mitigation of potential negative impact of climate change.
“ The focus of the Conference will be on enhanced water use efficiency, restoration and sustenance of soil health, convergence and efficient use of resources, land lease, building resilience to climate change through adoptive measures, secure farming through effective crop insurance scheme, strengthening of agricultural value chain and building capacity of farmers,” the Minister said.
Organic farming will be main highlight of the Conference. Host Sikkim made a detailed presentation today to highlight its nearly 100 percent adoption of organic farming. Singh said that the Ministry is promoting organic farming through its comprehensive Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna. Agriculture Secretary Siraj Hussain added that apart from a Central scheme, one scheme to promote organic farming in North East has been launched separately. Crop Insurance and Farm credit will be another focus area during the three –day conference.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the chief guest at the plenary session of the Conference on January 18. Modi will also be inaugurating the Flower Show and Organic Products Exhibition organized by Sikkim Government.