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Tomar Stresses Food Self-Sufficiency in order to Meet World's Food Needs

By incorporating new farming technology, sharing it with farmers, and improving irrigation systems, agricultural production costs will be reduced while food grain production and productivity will be increased.

Shivam Dwivedi
Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, stated that India, in addition to being self-sufficient in food production, has the capacity to meet the food requirements of a large portion of the world.

He stated that the country is moving forward with strategic plans while keeping future needs and challenges in mind. We recognise that in order to maintain high food grain production, we must also increase productivity. He stated that incorporating new farming technology, sharing it with farmers, and improving irrigation systems will reduce agricultural production costs while also increasing food grain production and productivity. Tomar stated that everyone's cooperation is required so that our farmers' incomes increase and we can continue to contribute to the country's and the world's food security.

Tomar was virtually addressing the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry's 'Leeds-2022 conference' (FICCI). Tomar stated during the session on 'Food for All: Farm to Fork' that despite the Corona pandemic, India's agriculture sector has achieved a significant 3.9% growth rate. In addition, our agricultural exports have surpassed the Rs 4 lakh crore mark, which we must maintain.

According to Tomar, with the world population expected to reach 900 million by 2050, the demand for food will rise rapidly, resulting in increased demand for agricultural land, grazing land for livestock, fertilisers, and genetically modified crops. He stated that agriculture has grown significantly in the country in recent years under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership. We have emerged as the world's second largest food producer, he said. Because of India's diverse geography, climate, and soils, it is naturally excellent at producing a wide range of agricultural commodities.

According to Tomar, we can grow more crops than any other country. India has the world's highest cropping density. The fourth advance estimate for India's foodgrain production in 2021-22 is 315.72 MT. Tomar stated that the government is constantly working to increase the number of small farmers in order to make India self-sufficient (Atma Nirbhar) and internationally competitive. Many important schemes are being implemented in this direction in order to reduce agricultural challenges and increase farmer income.

In addition, India is rapidly approaching the status of world leader in agriculture. He predicted that the agriculture industry in India would gain momentum in the coming years as a result of increased investment in agriculture infrastructure such as irrigation systems, storage, and cold storages. Furthermore, increased use of genetically modified crops is expected to boost Indian farmers' yields. Tomar stated that the Central Government's goal under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana is to invest more than Rs. 70,000 crores in the fisheries sector by 2024-25. By 2024-2025, the government expects to increase fish production to 220 lakh tonnes.

The Union Minister stated that the PLI scheme for Food Processing is being implemented with a Rs 10,900 crore incentive over the next six years, while the Krishi Udan scheme provides assistance and incentives for the movement of agricultural products by air transport, which is especially beneficial for the Northeast and tribal areas. This benefits farmers, freight forwarders, and airlines. The Digital Agri Mission has also begun. Technology will increase transparency, allowing farmers to reap the full benefits of all schemes. Drone technology is being promoted as well. The more agricultural technology and transparency there is, the more profit there will be. Tomar stated that the National Oil Palm Mission has begun with a budget of Rs.11,000 crores. He stated that the International Year of Millets will be celebrated next year under the leadership of India, with preparations already underway.

Damian O'Connor, New Zealand's Minister of Trade and Export Development, Agriculture, Biosecurity, Land Information, and Rural Communities, as well as industry representatives and others, attended the conference.

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