e-NAM has created a unified market through online trading platform ensured free flow of agricultural commodities from one market area to another and consequently controlled the price of agricultural commodities and also increased farmers’ incomes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
Coinciding with the Fresh India Show on 3 June that brought together agri-business leaders from across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at a separate function, listed government initiatives to prompt agricultural growth since he assumed office in May 2014, according to a release on All India Radio.
The Prime Minister said that the value of Indian agricultural exports, including the exports of marine and plantation products hit a record high of US$50 billion in 2021-22. The value increased by 20 per cent in FY22. At the same time, exports of wheat almost quadrupled from US$568 million in 2020-21 to US$2.12 billion in 2021-22.
The government also focused on boosting organic farming in the country, as a result of which the market for organic products has reached Rs. 11,000 crores, with exports rising to more than Rs. 7,000 crores from Rs. 2,000 crores six years ago.
From easy availability of fertilizers to improving irrigation facilities, from crop insurance schemes to easy access to credit, the government launched a slew of initiatives to double farmer’s income, he said.
The Prime Minister was listing these initiatives while dwelling in detail on the trajectory of the country’s agri-growth from 2014. He praised the resilience of farmers for maintaining a stable agricultural production and consequently, a stable supply and inflation even in the face of consecutive droughts from 2014-16.
He said that the Ministry of Agriculture was renamed to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare to reflect a paradigm shift in the vision that puts farmers first. Allocation for Agriculture and Farmers’ welfare has been increased substantially to Rs 35,984 crore, he said.
e-NAM has created a unified market through online trading platform ensured free flow of agricultural commodities from one market area to another and consequently controlled the price of agricultural commodities and increased income of farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
On the farm front
Agriculture loans for farmers have also increased by two-and-a-half times over the last seven years and over three crore farmers were given Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) as part of the special drive, with the KCC facility extended to cover farmers engaged in animal husbandry and fisheries as well.
All areas of agriculture from pre-sowing practices to marketing have been given focus in the government’s efforts to double farmers’ income, the Prime Minister said.
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna, the crop insurance scheme launched in February 2016 to provide financial support to farmers suffering crop loss/damage arising out of natural calamities and was made voluntary from 2020. Farmers need to pay a maximum 2 per cent of premium amount for Kharif, a 1.5 per cent premium amount for for Rabi food and oilseed crops.
For horticultural crops and commercial crops, the farmers need to pay a 5 per cent premium amount. The balance of actuarial/bidded premium is shared by the union and state governments, he said.
Over 36 crore farmer applications have been insured under PMFBY, with over Rs. 1,07,059 crores of claims already paid under the scheme as of 4 February 2022.
On the pathway to farmers balancing their use of fertilisers, the Prime Minister said that new technology introduced has meant that the power of a sack of Urea has been condensed into a bottle, saving the farmers from the transportation cost. With the inauguration of the Kalol plant, 1.5 lakh such bottles will be produced a day, and eight more such plants are in the pipeline.
Government also supported agriculture allied activities like fisheries, animal husbandry and dairy products. Dairying projects like ‘Pashudhan Sanjivani’, ‘Nakul Swasthya Patra’, ‘E-Pashudhan Haat’ and National Genomic Centre for indigenous breeds are good examples. A Rashtriya Gokul Mission has also been launched to conserve and develop indigenous cow breeds and the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya SampadaYojana that commenced during 2020-21 has led to an increase in fish production from 141.64 lakh tonne during 2019-20 to 147.25 lakh tonne during 2020-21.
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