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“Small Farmers Constitute 85% of Farming Community, Face Challenge of Lack of Private Investment”: Says Tomar

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that empowering small farmers will boost India's GDP. He stated that Small Farmers account for 85% of the farming community and face the challenge of a lack of private investment.

Shivam Dwivedi
Government has provided a total of Rs.20 lakh crore in Short Term Loans over the last nine years to help people escape the clutches of money lenders
Government has provided a total of Rs.20 lakh crore in Short Term Loans over the last nine years to help people escape the clutches of money lenders

Farming is the backbone of the Indian economy, he says, and the farm ecosystem is the main pillar of the Indian economy. Tomar stated that the Central Government has launched an ambitious programme to form 10,000 Farmers Producer Organizations (FPOs) with a Rs.6,865 crore investment to boost the economic capacity of Small Farmers.

While 300 farmers can form an FPO in the plains, 100 farmers can form an FPO in the hilly and north-eastern regions. FPOs can use their bargaining power to obtain new technologies, improved fertilizers, quality seeds, and equipment, as well as increase productivity through cluster farming.

Tomar stated that the Atmanirbhar package includes Rs.15,000 crore for horticulture, Rs.20,000 crore for fisheries, Rs.4,000 crore for herbal agriculture, and Rs.10,000 crore for food processing industries. The Agriculture Minister stated that the Agriculture Budget in 2013-14 was Rs.21,000 crore, which has since been increased by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Government to Rs.1,25,000 crore. He stated that Rs.2,40,000 crore had been distributed to 11.5 crore farmers through the PM Kisan Samman.

Tomar stated that the Modi government has provided a total of Rs.20 lakh crore in Short Term Loans over the last nine years to help people escape the clutches of money lenders. He stated that new farming innovations, as well as the application of new technologies, have contributed to increased productivity and food grain production. The Minister stated that last year's Agri Exports totaled Rs.4 lakh crore, the highest since independence.

Tomar stated that agriculture will continue to play an important role as India, under the capable leadership of Prime Minister Modi, strives to become a $5 trillion economy and a developed nation by the year 2047. He stated that the Government of India has taken many concrete steps in the agriculture sector in the last 8-9 years, under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, the benefits of which are visible in the farmers' community and agriculture sector.

Today the responsibility has come upon the Indian agriculture sector and our farmers to eradicate hunger from the world. Expectations of us have risen to the point where, rather than demanding, we have become a nation of exports.

Tomar stated that the agriculture sector not only provides food grains to the country, but also a large number of jobs. We can meet the needs of the country and the world through the hard work of farmers and scientific research. The Government of India is working hard to increase technical assistance in agriculture. The Prime Minister has established the Agri Infra Fund worth Rs. 1 lakh crore to fill infrastructure gaps, in addition to Rs. 50,000 crores for Allied Sectors.

Under PM Modi's leadership, work on compensating farmers for losses has also been completed. The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is being run to provide security cover to the farmers, through which claims worth Rs 1.30 lakh crore have been disbursed so far. The Prime Minister also made certain that farmers received at least Rs 20 lakh crore in short-term credit via the Kisan Credit Cards (KCC).

According to Tomar, the Prime Minister's emphasis is on Natural Farming, specifically cow-based farming, for which the government is working in Mission mode. He stated that the United Nations has declared 2023 to be the International Year of Millets on Prime Minister Modi's initiative (Shree Anna).

On March 18, 2023, a major international event honouring Shree Anna will be held in Delhi, with the Prime Minister as the chief guest. When the demand for millets rises in the country and around the world, our small farmers will benefit.


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