Increase in production and income, development of institutes, human resources, development of new techniques, agriculture diversification are the areas in which Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has established new standards of success, Radha Mohan Singh, Union Agriculture Minister said while addressing the 88th AGM of ICAR Society in New Delhi today.
He said that Government is committed to double the income of farmers in five years. In this budget, holistic development of agriculture is the main focus in which to provide credit to farmers on affordable rates, assured supply of seeds and fertilisers, increase in irrigation facilities, increase in productivity through soil health cards, through e-Nam assured market and providing profitable price has been emphasised.
Agriculture Minister said that for the progress of agriculture and prosperity of farmers, Government has made many initiatives in the Budget, In comparison to the Budget last year, in the budget of year 2017-18, the fund for rural, agriculture and allied sectors has been increased by 24 percent, it is now Rs. 1,87,223 crore. In the next financial year, it is estimated that the progress rate of agriculture sector will be 4.1 percent.
Singh said that because of a good monsoon and policy initiatives by the government, there is a record production of food grains this year. As per the second advance estimate for the year 2016-17, there would be a total of 271.98 million tonnes production of food grains which is 6.94 million tonnes compared to last records (265.04 MT is 2013-14) 20.41 million tonnes higher than last year production.
According to the Minister, during this Rabi in comparison to last year 2015-16, the country saw 6.86 percent more sowing compared to last year. Wheat (7.7 percent) , Pulses (12.96 percent) and Oilseeds (12.69 percent) got more sowing this season. The Agriculture Minister said that Indian agriculture scientists have played a major role developing research and technology and bringing green revolution, and thereby in the development of agriculture.
Singh said that in the International Pulse Year 2016, 150 seed herbs of pulses have been established. Early maturing variety of moong "IPM 205-7(VIRAT)" has been released. The efforts for promoting research in agriculture sector have been remarkable in the last two and a half years. From the year 2012 to May, 2014, 261 new varieties of different crops have been released and from of June, 2014 to December, 2016, 437 new varieties have been released.
Singh said that since agriculture is state subject, so State Agriculture Ministers have an important role in its progress. On the occasion Agriculture Minister appealed to all the representatives to develop scientists-state-farmer linkage and to work unitedly in coordination with the Centre for the prosperity of farmers and progress of agriculture.