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Radha Mohan Singh gives Keynote Address at BS Agriculture Round Table 2019

Sheetal Dhamecha
Sheetal Dhamecha

Agriculture Minister, Radha Mohan Singh gave the keynote address at the second edition of the Business Standard Agriculture Round Table in New Delhi’s PUSA Campus. 

He said that before the NDA government took office in 2014, farmers had been losing interest in agriculture due to increasing cultivation cost relative to their income. He cited UPA’s failure to address critical issues related to farming, such as commercialization of agriculture, production of organic products, protection of crops from pests, maintaining soil fertility, land reforms, and storage and market linkages as the reason for the same. 

Lauding the Modi government, the minister said that since 2014, critical areas of agriculture - reducing the cost of production, ensuring remunerative price for farmers’ produce, stopping wastage, and ensuring an alternative source of income — were being addressed in a mission mode. 

Statistically, he mentioned growth in agriculture stating that, in 2017-18 there has been 40% increase in average production of pulses, at 25.23 million tonnes as against 18.01 million tonnes during 2010-14. Food grain production stood at 284.83 million tonnes, compared to an average production of 255.59 million tonnes during 2010-14.  Similarly, horticulture production in the past four years grew by 17.55% and production of fish by 42%. Likely, the annual growth in milk production from 2014-18 is 6.4% as compared to 4.29% in 2010-14, he stated. 

Singh said that more young people were being attracted to agriculture and related sectors. Under the Student READY (Rural Entrepreneurship Awareness Development Yojana), fellowship has been increased to Rs 3000/month. 

Talking about the Centre’s flagship scheme for procurement of crops, PM-ASHAA, the minister said the new umbrella scheme included the mechanism of ensuring remunerative prices to farmers and consisted of Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS) and Pilot of Private Procurement and Stockist Scheme (PPPS). 

"We are proud that with the policies of the government, time-bound implementation, budgetary provisions for 2018 and hike in MSP given to farmers will put India among the leading economies in the agriculture sector and help the government’s efforts in doubling the income of farmers," Singh said. 

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