Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said here on Tuesday that farming was the backbone of India’s economy and the farm ecosystem is the main pillar of the Indian economy.
Speaking at the launch of Kisan Tak TV channel and website of the India Today Group, Narendra Singh Tomar pointed out that small farmers, who constitute 85 per cent of the farming community, suffer due to a lack of private investment.
He informed that the Central government had initiated an ambitious programme for these small farmers to form 10,000 farmer producers’ organisations (FPOs) in the country with an outlay of Rs 6,865 crore.
“While in the plains 300 farmers can form an FPO, in the hilly and northeastern region, 100 farmers can form an FPO. The FPOs can have a bargaining power for new technologies, improved fertilizers, and quality seeds as well as equipment and can add productivity through cluster farming,” the minister said.
The Union agriculture minister highlighted the government’s allocation of Rs 1,50,000 crore of Atmanirbhar package for 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 industry.
He further said that in the last nine years, the Central government has provided a total sum of Rs 20 lakh crore for short-term loans to farmers to free them from the clutches of moneylenders. New innovations in farming and application of new technologies have enhanced productivity resulting in the increase in production of food grains.
Citing previous year’s statistics, Tomar said, “India recorded Rs 4 lakh crore of agri exports, which is the highest since Independence. Agriculture will continue to play a significant role as India aims to become a 5 trillion dollar economy soon and emerge as a developed nation during the Amrit Kaal by 2047 under the guidance of PM Modi.”
The minister said that the agriculture sector not only provides food to the country but also provides employment on a large scale. “With the hard work of farmers and research scientists, we can meet the needs of the country as well as the world,” he said.