The majority of the population of India still depends on agriculture, therefore the ills plaguing Indian agriculture have to be dealt with urgently. Restoration of health of top soil, optimum use of water and climate change are the three major challenges facing the agriculture sector, said Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, in New Delhi Friday. He was speaking at a function organised to honour eminent Indian geneticist, international administrator and father of India’s Green Revolution, Dr. MS Swaminathan.
Recalling the contribution of Dr. Swaminathan to increase production of food grains in the country, the commerce minister said that as a consequence of the Green Revolution, India became self-reliant in food production in about 15 years. The minister further said that today India produces 600 million tonnes of agricultural produce and has the capacity to export the excess production to the world. The Commerce Ministry is ready with an Agriculture Export Policy so that farmers’ income can be doubled by 2022. He further said that the various schemes introduced by the Government like Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Fasal Bima Yojana, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, Soil Health Card, Kisan Credit Card and eNAM will make agriculture a profitable venture.
The very first, World Agriculture Prize, instituted by the Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA) was given to Dr. MS Swaminathan by Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu at the function. Governor of Kerala, Justice P. Sathasivam; Agriculture Minister of Haryana, OP Dhankar and Trilochan Mohapatra, Director General Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) were also present on the occasion.