Wednesday, December 8, 2021

States should take advantage of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund for benefits to reach small & marginal farmers: Narendra Singh Tomar

Union Agriculture Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar has urged the States to take advantage of the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund so that benefits can reach small and marginal farmers who lack warehousing and cold storage facilities at the farm gate.

Mr Tomar was speaking on the second day of the Chief Ministers’ conference yesteday on initiatives and schemes of the Ministry. The Minister emphasized that the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund is set up to drive infra investments and will facilitate and give thrust to speedy sanctions through a user friendly online portal.

Speaking about digital agriculture mission, the Minister stated that farmers’ database is our wealth and will usher in focused programme delivery, reducing seepages, better policy formulation and smart farming in the country. He informed that Database with 5.5 crore farmers is ready and work is in progress for verifying others with land records.

Mr Tomar also informed that the Union Cabinet recently approved National Edible Oil Mission for palm oil with focus on the North-East regions and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He added that through this, the production of edible oils will be accelerated in the country thereby reducing the import of edible oils.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal while addressing the conference said, the Central government is working in close alignment with the State governments to transform the future of farmers. He said, food security is synonymous with farmers’ security and reforms for farmers have put India on the path of AtmaNirbhar Bharat.

On Agriculture exports, Mr Goyal said, exports have an important role to play in doubling farmers’ income and India should aim to become the top 5 agri exporting nations. Talking about ‘One District, One Product’, Mr Goyal said, 106 products have been identified from 103 districts. He said, districts should be promoted as export hubs to ensure that local goes global. He informed that red rice is now being exported to USA and Jackfruit from Tripura is being sent to United Kingdom. He also said, Free Trade Agreements are being worked out for better markets.

Union Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare,  Shobha Karandlaje and Kailash Choudhary were also present at the  meeting. The Chief Ministers and Agriculture Ministers appreciated the efforts made by the Central Government for the progress of the agriculture sector and gave their suggestions regarding various schemes and some regional problems.

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