Jammu: Union Minister for Agriculture, Narendra Singh Tomar Friday said that the government is committed to support small and marginal farmers.
As part of the ongoing public outreach initiatives of the Centre Government, Union Minister for Agriculture, Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Ministers of State for Agriculture, Shobha Karandlaje and Kailash Choudhary today visited Jammu and took stock of agriculture and horticulture related activities in the region.
Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Farooq Khan and Principal Secretary, Agriculture & Horticulture, Navin K Choudhary also accompanied the team.
During an event organised at village Maralian, in RS Pura sub-division, the Union Agriculture Minister expressed delight and said, “farmers of J&K are showing extraordinary enthusiasm for availing benefits of the government’s schemes”.
“Around 85 percent of farmers of India have land holding of less than 2 hectares,” the minister said, and it is by strengthening these farmers that the nation can truly prosper’. He stressed that in order to double the farmer’s income, they need to shift from traditional methods and opt for modernisation and diversification of crops. He also laid impetus on maintaining quality to match global standards.
The Minister informed that the Prime Minister is working towards giving boost to agriculture and allied sectors, so as to ensure greater exports of exceptional quality. He lauded the Government for implementing “200 out of 201” recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee and highlighted that ‘the most significant recommendation to be accepted has been to ensure that farmers get at least 50 percent profit over their investment’. Some crops are even earning them profit of about 100 percent, he added.
Detailing the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, the Minister informed that the Centre Government has already disbursed Rs 1,58,000 crore to more than 11 crore farmers through the scheme. More than 17 hundred farmers of J&K have also received an amount of Rs 6 thousand per year under the scheme, told the minister.
Acknowledging the efforts of Lieutenant Governor, the Principal Secretary said that through his intervention, marginal farmers and orchardists with land holding of 1 kanal are now being provided government support. Earlier the minimum requirement was capped at 4 kanal.
Navin K Choudhary informed the Minister that with high density plantation technique, around one thousand plants can be planted in one hectare land. The number is significant as earlier only four hundred plants were being planted in the same land. ‘Thus, with high density plantation, orchardists could easily double their income’, he said.
The Principal Secretary informed that the UT administration has been successful in increasing horticulture cover in Jammu division from 50 thousand to 10 lakh plants this year. Greater targets have been set for subsequent years, he assured.
“The department is proactively promoting plantation of less water-intensive crops like lemongrass and aloevera in kandi areas of the region. Land amounting to 1500 hectares has come under the two kinds of plantations so far,” Principal Secretary added.
An exhibition of agriculture implements and horticulture products of districts like Poonch, Rajouri, Doda, Kathua and others was also organized at the venue.
The visiting ministers also inaugurated one high density plantation at Maralian by planting mango saplings at the site.
Those present at the event included DDC Chairman, Bharat Bhushan, Director Horticulture Ram Sewak and other senior officers of the department.