Urging every Indian farmer to be a progressive farmer Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that farmers should adopt new technologies and advancements in the field and must have frequent engagements with the scientists and local Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs). Inaugurating the two day ‘Brainstorming Session on Technological Innovations and Strategies for Farmers’ Prosperity in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh’ in the presence of the Ministers of State Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary in New Delhi Monday, the minister said that being an important sector, agriculture should play a stabilising role in the economy and for this, modernisation and technological advancements are required in the field to which the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) can contribute immensely.
The minister said that this series of discussions with farmers that started with Rajasthan in July should continue with every other state as this initiative will definitely help in the prosperity of the farming community. Calling on the farmers to adopt modern technologies, the minister said that the discussions and learning from the two day session shall be taken forward to practising in the agricultural fields.
Enumerating the major challenges in the agriculture sector such as providing market connectivity and promoting agricultural exports, Tomar said that amongst these one major challenge is farmers not getting proper value for their produce. For this he called for better coordination between the farmers and researchers in the field for improvement of agricultural produce. Indian products should be able to compete with products from across the world and thereby fetch best market value. Although farmers get subsidy and Government support, their aim should be not to solely rely on Government support but to take initiatives on their own to improve productivity.
Highlighting the importance of integrated and organic farming, the minister said that the thought of farming as just growing grains should be changed to adoption of integrated farming wherein fisheries, poultry, animal husbandry and bee keeping become part of farming. If every farmer starts doing this, the GDP share of agriculture shall increase.
Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, (DAC&FW) Ministry of Agriculture said, it is for the first time that Central government is holding state specific discussions and that too directly with the farmers. The top bureaucrat also said that the banking formalities have now been reduced and farmers can easily open accounts. Asking farmers to join for the new Farmers Pension scheme- PM Maan Dhan Yojana, the secretary said that those farmers who have already registered for PM Kisan scheme will now start getting all information on their registered mobile phones.
Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) and Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) stressed on the adoption of the newer and advanced technologies that will help in achieving the targeted goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. Outlining few issues in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Dr. Mohapatra said that discussions shall be on how proper value for product can be ensured, market intervention through FPOs, role of scientists and institutes and how crop diversification can be made possible in these states.
The minister also launched diagnostic kits, vaccines developed by different ICAR institutes and eight ICAR mobile apps during the occasion. More than 300 farmers from Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, students, entrepreneurs, vice chancellors, institute directors attended the brainstorming session