Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar today said if the Small Farmers will be empowered, it will boost India’s GDP. Speaking at an event after launching the Kisan Tak channel and its website of the India Today Group in New Delhi, he said that Small Farmers constitute 85% of the farming community and they face the challenge of lack of private investment. Farming is the backbone of India’s economy and the farm ecosystem is the main pillar of Indian economy, he added.
Shri Tomar said that the Central Government has undertaken an ambitious programme of forming 10,000 Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) with an outlay of Rs.6,865 crore to boost the economic capacity of the Small Farmers. While in the plains, 300 farmers can form an FPO, in the Hilly and North-Eastern Region 100 farmers can join to form an FPO. The FPOs can have a bargaining power to have new technologies, improved fertilizers and quality seeds as well as equipment and can add productivity through cluster farming.
Shri Tomar said that Rs.1,50,000 crore of Atmanirbhar package has been earmarked for the farmers including 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 said that in 2013-14 the Agriculture Budget was Rs.21,000 crore, which has been increased by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Government to Rs.1,25,000 crore at present. He informed that Rs.2,40,000 crore has been disbursed through PM Kisan Samman to 11.5 crore farmers.
Shri Tomar said that in the last nine years the Modi Government has provided a total sum of Rs.20 lakh crore as Short Term Loan to free them from the clutches of money lenders. He said that new innovations in farming as well as application of new technologies has also added to enhance productivity as well as increased production of food grains. The Minister pointed out that last year, Rs.4 lakh crore of Agri Exports has been recorded, which is the highest since Independence.
Shri Tomar said Agriculture will continue to play a major role as India, under the able guidance of PM Modi, aims to scale as a $5 Trillion economy soon and will emerge as a Developed nation during the Amrit Kaal by the year 2047. He said that in the last 8-9 years, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Modi, many concrete steps have been taken by the Government of India in the Agriculture sector, the benefits of which is evident 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 from us has increased so much that instead of demanding, we have become a nation of exports.
Shri Tomar said that the Agriculture sector not only provides food grains in the country, but also provides employment in large numbers. With the hard work of farmers and research of scientists, we can meet the needs of the country as well as the world. Government of India is working sincerely to increase technical support in Agriculture. The Prime Minister has initiated the Agri Infra Fund worth Rs 1 lakh crore to fill the gaps in infrastructure, besides Rs. 50,000 crores for Allied Sectors. The work of compensating farmers for loss has also been done under the leadership of PM Modi. 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 ensured that the farmers got at least Rs 20 lakh crore as short-term credit through the Kisan Credit Cards (KCC).
Shri Tomar said that the Prime Minister’s emphasis is on Natural Farming, it is cow-based farming, for which the government is working in Mission mode. He said that on the initiative of Prime Minister Modi, 2023 has been declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Millets (Shree Anna). A major international event on Shree Anna is scheduled to be held in Delhi on 18 March 2023 with the Prime Minister as the chief guest. When the demand for millets will increase in the country and the world, our small farmers will be benefited.