Reducing cost, raising yield Modi govt's priorities in 2016

Reducing cost, raising yield Modi govt's priorities in 2016

Reducing cost, raising yield Modi govt's priorities in 2016

Increasing crop yields and providing better marketing facilities with modern technologies are the twin priorities of the Agriculture Ministry in 2016.

Listing the priority of the government in the new year, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh told reporters that the government will link all 585 wholesale mandis with electronic platform by the end of March 2018.

He said the district-wise irrigation plan under the Rs 50,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana will be ready by 2017.

Cutting down the cost of production, increasing the yield and providing better marketing is the government priority, he said.

The minister’s ambitious plan came amidst slowdown in sowing of wheat and pulses due to ongoing dry winters, mainly in North India. ‘

Area sown to wheat was down by 7.4 per cent at 271.46 lakh hectares while that of pulses by 2.35 per cent at 128.24 lakh hectares in the first three months of the ongoing rabi season, due to dry winters.

Sowing of rabi crops, including wheat, begins from October and the harvesting starts from April.

Rabi-sowing has been affected due to less soil moisture in the wake of drought for the second straight year.

Deficit rainfall

Drought-hit 10 states because of 14 per cent deficit monsoon rainfall this year.
Highlighting the initiatives taken by the NDA government so far, the agriculture minister said it will provide soil health cards to five crore farmers in 2015-16 fiscal and the remaining nine crore by end of the next fiscal.

 Out of Rs 568 crore allotted for this scheme, Rs 109 crore have already been disbursed till December.

On the progress made in the setting up of the National Electronic Agriculture Market, the minister said the Centre has allocated Rs 111.16 crore to eight states—Gujarat, Maharasthra, Telangana, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chandigarh— for linking 214 mandis with e-platform.

On agri-credit, the minister said the government has disbursed Rs 6,03,186 crore to farmers till December of the 2015-16 fiscal, while the target is Rs 8,50,000 crore.