States told to double farmers’ income

 NEW DELHI, Sept 19 – Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today urged the States to chalk out their own strategy to achieve the target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.The Centre has already come out with a four-volume report suggesting ways to boost farmers’ income, which States will have to study and see how best it can be implemented in each State, he said.

Not only productivity of various crops needs to be raised, but also focus on allied farm activities like timber cultivation and honeybee cultivation is required, he added.

Addressing a two-day national conference to evolve a sowing strategy for upcoming winter (rabi) season, Singh said: “The Government’s aim is to increase productivity and ensure farmers’ get the remunerative price for their produce.”

On organic farming, he said only Sikkim has been declared a fully organic State till now. The Centre’s target is to see entire the North-east grow fully organic. Funds are in place but States have to show more interest.

The Government has launched several schemes like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, Soil Health Card scheme, neem-coated urea and electronic national agriculture market (e-NAM) to achieve the target of doubling farmers’ income.

While implementing these schemes, he said, States have to “devise their own strategy” to boost farmers’ income by focusing on production-to-post-harvest activities. “It is our responsibility to make special efforts to improve the agricultural sector so that it provides strong trade opportunities,” he added.

Echoing the views, Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak said, “doubling farmers’ income by 2022 should be the mantra and all of us should be working towards it. The seven key schemes have to be operationalised at field level.”

He urged the States to take e-NAM project seriously and put in place infrastructure to facilitate farmers to trade online. “Once this is in place, farmers will get remunerative price and help in doubling income.” – PTI

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