Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has stressed that Agriculture has to be linked with digital technology, scientific research and knowledge.
Speaking at the Chief Ministers’ Conference on initiatives and schemes of Ministry of Agriculture through video conferencing today, Mr Tomar emphasized that the Central Government and State Governments must work together for agriculture to give a boost to the economy.
Talking about digital agriculture, the Minister urged all states to study the Karnataka Model which was presented during the conference.
He told the states to create a database for the state using the federated farmer database prepared by Government of India and allow linkage to state land record database.
Mr Tomar said that the Ministry has created database of 5.5 crore farmers and it will be increased to eight crore farmers by December this year with the help of State Governments.
The Minister said that with the establishment of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, Farmer Producer Organisations, Primary Agricultural Credit Societies, Mandis and start-ups will get loans easily.
Talking about the Oil Palm Mission, he said that Indian Council of Agricultural Research has conducted a study on the areas in which oil palm cultivation can be expanded.
In his address, Food and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said, with an increase in agriculture exports, India is emerging as a trusted export partner and there is further scope for improvement of agri-exports.
He emphasized that the infrastructure needs to be strengthened for storage and warehousing.
The objectives of the conference were to highlight the salient features of Aatmanirbhar Krishi and to enable states to enhance farmers’ income. It was also an occasion to share innovative initiatives undertaken by the states.
The discussion with the states centered around the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund set up to drive infrastructure investment. The recent modifications in the scheme were also explained.
The need to make India self-reliant in edible oils and palms was stressed and the role of the states was discussed. Digital agriculture and use of emerging technology for smart agriculture was also discussed.
The concept of farmers’ database was also explained. A national farmer database is being created by taking data from existing schemes like PM-KISAN, soil health card and PM- Fasal Bima Yojana.
The database will have connectivity to State land records data base. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi and the saturation of Kisan Credit Card for small and marginal farmers was also discussed.
The first day of the two-day conference saw the participation of Chief Ministers and Agriculture Ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Goa.
Union Ministers of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary, Shobha Karandlaje, Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary of Food and Public Distribution Sudhanshu Pandey were present on the occasion.