Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has said that today educated youth are getting attracted towards Agriculture sector and the government is continuously encouraging them through various schemes and programmes to join the Agriculture sector. Shri Tomar said this as the chief guest at the 2nd Sustainable Agriculture Summit & Awards organized by FICCI in New Delhi today.
Emphasizing on adopting a holistic approach in the Indian agriculture sector, Shri Tomar said that there is a need to have a balanced-holistic approach in the agriculture sector, which will lead to more rapid development of agriculture. Shri Tomar said that in the agriculture sector, instead of focusing on only a few crops, we should have a diversified vision for all crops, including increasing production and productivity. Shri Tomar said that agriculture has always been the priority of our country and we Indians have expertise in it. Agriculture is necessary for food security, but in the present political scenario, neighbouring, friendly and needy countries also need our help, for which our agriculture sector is also important.
Explaining the importance of millets (nutritious cereals) in the Indian tradition, Shri Tomar said that the demand and consumption of millets is increasing globally. On the initiative of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the United Nations has declared 2023 as the ‘International Year of Millets’, for which preparations are being made by the government. Prime Minister Shri Modi wants that nutri-cereals get respect again in the food platter, as it used to get earlier.
Shri Tomar said that after Shri Modi became the Prime Minister, an era of enthusiasm has been created in the agriculture sector of the country. He said that there are about 86 percent small farmers in the country, to promote whom the central government has taken several concrete steps, including a scheme to set up 10,000 new FPOs with an expenditure of Rs 6,865 crore. The central government is providing short-term loans to small farmers at concessional interest, increasing the limit to Rs 18 lakh crore. The central government has also focused on filling the gaps in agriculture infrastructure across the country. For this, the government has given one lakh crore rupees. Agriculture Infrastructure Fund has been set up, while many concrete measures have been taken for improvement in the areas related to agriculture including animal husbandry and fisheries. Explaining the importance of technology in the agriculture sector, he said that the government has allowed the use of drones in agriculture, while the scope of micro-irrigation along with emphasis on natural and organic farming to reduce the impact of climate change in the agriculture sector is also being expanded.
On this occasion, Joint Secretary of Agriculture Ministry, Shri Praveen Samuel along with many officials and entrepreneurs of FICCI and Yes Bank were present.