Agriculture minister assures 100% procurement from farmers producing Tur, Urad and Masoor

Agriculture minister assures 100% procurement from farmers producing Tur, Urad and Masoor

New Delhi: Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and Rural Development, Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that the Centre is committed to procure Tur, Urad and Masoor at Minimum Support Prices (MSP) to ensure crop diversification and achieve self-sufficiency in pulses production. Chairing a virtual meeting with agriculture ministers of various states at Krishi Bhawan in New Delhi today, Chauhan said e-Samridhi portal has been launched through National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India (NCCF) for registration of farmers. The government is committed to procure these pulses at MSP for farmers registered on the portal. He urged the state governments to encourage more and more farmers to register on this portal to avail themselves of the assured procurement facility.

The Union Minister said that the country is not self-sufficient in the production of these three crops and aims to achieve self-sufficiency by 2027. Chauhan complemented the states for their efforts in increasing pulse production by 50 per cent since 2015-16 but called for more efforts in increasing the yield per hectare and motivating farmers to grow pulses. He appreciated the fact that the country has achieved self-sufficiency in green gram (moong) and gram (chana) and mentioned that the country has reduced dependency on imports from 30 per cent to 10 per cent during the last 10 years. Chauhan urged the states to work as a team with the Centre to make India not only self-sufficient in foodgrains production but also the food basket of the world.

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He informed about the new Model Pulses Village scheme which is being rolled out from the current Kharif season. The minister requested the state governments to utilise the fallow lands which are available for pulses after the rice crop is harvested. Chauhan also asked the state governments to take up inter-cropping of Tur in a vigorous manner. He mentioned that the state governments should share their best practices with each other and visits should be undertaken for this. He mentioned that the elected representatives such as MPs and MLAs should be actively involved in the Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs).

The minister spoke regarding the need for crop diversification towards cash crops and the need to restore soil fertility. He stressed the requirement of timely and quality agricultural inputs to farmers such as good quality seeds for increasing productivity and assured maximum support regarding this. Chauhan informed that for the availability of good quality seeds, the Government of India has opened 150 Pulse Seed Hubs and Cluster Front Line Demonstrations (CFLDs) are being given by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in the low productivity districts. The agriculture minister mentioned the need to develop climate-resilient and short-duration varieties so that the effects of climate change could be countered. He requested the state governments to strengthen their seed delivery systems by strengthening the State Seed Corporations.

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The meeting was called to realise the necessity for immediate attention to increase pulse production in the country to reduce imports. State agriculture ministers of the major pulses-producing states namely, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar and Telangana were present during the meeting. The state governments appreciated the efforts being made by the Centre through the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) and assured of full cooperation. They mentioned that since the monsoon has been predicted as above normal, the targets set by the Government of India are very likely to be achieved.

The states recognised the need for increasing the distribution of high-yielding varieties of seeds and also the need for increasing the area under pulses on an urgent basis. The Union Minister assured all the support to states and invited all state agriculture ministers to Delhi to hold a detailed meeting of the agriculture scenario of the state and address any issues collectively.

Union Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Ram Nath Thakur and Bhagirath Chaudhary; Agriculture Secretary, Manoj Ahuja and Secretary of Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) and Director General of ICAR, Dr. Himanshu Pathak were also present in the meeting.

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