The National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign – 2017-18 was being organized on 19th and 20th September, 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The Conference was inaugurated by Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh in the presence of Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri G.S. Shekhawat and Ms. Krishna Raj.
In his inaugural address, Shri Radha Mohan Singh applauded efforts of Central and State Governments and the Farmers in attaining the ever highest production of more than 275 million tons of foodgrains and 32 million tons of oilseeds during 2016-17 as per the latest and the 4th Advance Estimates. The Minister made a mention about the quantum jump in pulse production from previous record of 19.25 million tons in 2013-14 to 22.95 million tons during 2016-17. While sharing his concern about excess rainfall and flood like situation faced by Eastern and few Western States during Kharif-2017, he urged the States to make all out efforts to ensure timely supply of inputs for more area coverage during the forthcoming Rabi season.
The aim of the Government is to increase coverage under irrigation, development of organic farming, distribution of Soil Health Card to all farmers, risk coverage particularly of non-loanee farmers, the strengthening of e-NAM, promotion of horticulture, dairy / animal husbandry / fisheries and other allied sectors. Shri Radha Mohan Singh emphasized that the new initiatives of the government like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, Soil Health Scheme, Neem Coated Urea and E-national Agriculture Market Schemes will surely help in achieving the goal of doubling the income of farmers’ by 2022. Union Agriculture Minister urged State governments to promote information technology and make the best use of Kisan call centers, DD Kisan channel for reaching out to the farmers effectively.
Shri Radha Mohan Singh highlighted the achievements of flagship programmes of DAC&FW in a short span of time and complimented the States for taking steps to operationalize DBT in various programmes. Shri Singh stressed upon the States to ensure supply of quality seeds and other inputs to the farmers well in time.
Union Agriculture Minister called upon Ministries and Departments involved in input supply and support services including credit and insurance for a much closer coordination in achieving the national goal of achieving the doubling of farmers incomes by 2022.
During the two day conference, with the overall aim of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, Group Discussions were held on important topics such as on Soil Health Card Scheme – Review and Improvements, Increasing Coverage of Non-loanee Farmers, Area and Crops under PMFBY and use of Modern Technology for Greater Efficiency, e-NAM-Ideas on Improvements, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – Approach for Sustainable Agriculture, Management of Drought, Review of Post Harvest Management (PHM) & Value Chain in the Country, Drought Proofing of 30 Vulnerable Districts, Doubling Farmers’ Income. Each Group was Chaired by a senior official of the State government, who in consultation with other participating States and senior officials of the Department, ICAR and other experts and specialist submitted recommendations on each of the topic for detailed deliberations in the plenary on the concluding day of the conference.
The State governments were allocated time to raise issues of interest to the Rabi Campaign during the Conference, and many States used the opportunity to offer valuable comments and observations on many aspects of the flagship programme of the Government. With the presence of Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Minister of States, Secretary, DAC&FW, Secretary DARE and DG, ICAR and senior officers from various states / UTs the Conference provided a unique platform for discussions on the sectoral problems / issues and in finding solutions to many of the issues raised by the States.
The Conference was attended by Secretary, DAC&FW; Secretary DARE and DG, ICAR; Agriculture Production Commissioners / Principal Secretaries/ Secretaries/Directors of the State Department of Agriculture/Horticulture and Agriculture Marketing; Sr. Scientists from ICAR and other Officials from the concerned Line Departments / Agencies of Central / State Government.