Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar chaired the National Conference on Agriculture for Zaid (Summer) Campaign-2023 in New Delhi today. On this occasion, Shri Tomar said that India is in a very good position in terms of food grains production and this has been achieved due to the farmer-friendly policies of the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, tireless hard work of farmers and novel research by agricultural scientists. But the stage where India is today, we cannot be sit on our laurels, production should be scaled and on the basis of minute planning, such meaningful results should come out so that in the Agriculture sector, besides meeting the continuous supply of our domestic needs, we can successfully fulfill the world supply demands.
Union Minister Shri Tomar said that the Advance Estimates of a record breaking agricultural production (323 million tonnes) are encouraging. While agriculture is important, it is also an area of greater caution and responsibility. There was a time when little progress was taken for granted and the country depended on others for food grains but due to continuous progress under the efficient leadership of Prime Minister Shri Modi today most of the countries are dependent on India unlike before. We have to fulfill our needs in terms of agricultural products, as well as meet the demands of the world if needed. In this regard, we have to increase production and productivity as well as improve quality so that we can meet the global standards. Shri Tomar said that many concrete steps have been taken for the development of Agriculture sector under the guidance of Prime Minister Shri Modi, in which the States are also cooperating. As resolved by the Prime Minister, 22 crore Soil Health Cards have been distributed in two phases, the main objective of which is to preserve the fertility of our earth. Along with distribution of cards, the number of soil testing labs has been augmented at every level. The responsibility of positive result in this regard rests with the State Governments. All farmers should also participate in this.
Shri Tomar said that everyone should consider adopting other available alternatives to chemical fertilizers, – nano urea, biofertilizer. About 2.5 lakh crore rupees is being incurred annually on fertilizer subsidy. Apart from saving this amount, healthy production can be done and individual health can be ensured. Due to awareness campaigns, the cultivation area under organic and natural farming is increasing. States should focus on the progress of small farmers through measures like Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi launched by Prime Minister Shri Modi. Krishi Vigyan Kendra and ATMA should work together at the district level to bring about rejuvenation, besides the State Governments should draw their annual plans for the Agriculture sector and consider how they can make good use of the Central Government schemes for the interest of the farmers. Agriculture and allied Departments/Ministries and States together make up the Team India, which should further strengthen the Agriculture sector. He said that Summer Crops are important, which also helps in increasing the income of small farmers. Shri Tomar said that the benefits of the schemes should reach the small farmers by making proper use of the Government funds. The government is also working on the Digital Agriculture Mission, in which cooperation of the States is necessary.
Agriculture Secretary Shri Manoj Ahuja, Secretary-DARE and Director General-ICAR, Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Secretary-Fertilizer Shri Arun Baroka also addressed the conference and presentations were made by Additional Secretaries and Joint Secretaries. Senior officers of Agriculture and other Central Ministries, Agriculture Production Commissioner/Principal Secretary and other senior officers of State Agriculture Departments, representatives of Central and State organizations participated in the conference. It was informed during the conference that there is no shortage of fertilizers anywhere in the country. The number of Kisan Samridhi Kendras has now increased to 12,000. The PM-PRANAM scheme is running smoothly, which aims to reduce the usage of chemical urea. It was also informed that Seed Traceability system is being introduced by the Centre, which will ensure availability of quality seeds. Pesticide Management System will also be implemented.