Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya interacted virtually with over 3000 farmers from various states at around 1.60 lakh Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samridhi Kendras (PMKSK) across the country and took their feedback.
“Over 1.60 lakh Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samridhi Kendras (PMKSKs) are functional in the country at present. The aim behind PMKSKs is to create a ‘One-Stop Shop’ network of more than 2 lakh such kendras to ensure that farmers have access to quality-assured products for enhancing their knowledge about farming and agricultural practices,” the Union Minister said.
Mandaviya stated that PMKSKs are fast growing as the central hub for outreach activities for agriculture, enhancing awareness of new and developing knowledge in the agriculture sector, ‘samvaad’ with the farmer community, and extension activities through agriculture Universities.
“These are not just outlets for fertilizers, equipment, sales but these are organizations of farmer’s welfare”, he stated. PMKSK will soon become an Institution and not merely a One-Stop Shop for all agriculture and farming-related activities,” he said.
The Union Minister encouraged the farmers through an appeal to use nano urea, nano DAP, and progressively shift to alternate and organic fertilizers, in place of chemical fertilizers.
“Let us try to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers by 20 per cent in the coming Rabi season, and substitute this with alternate/organic fertilizers,” he stated.
He stated that studies have clearly shown adverse impacts on human health and well-being, directly or indirectly due to excessive use of chemicals, fertilisers, pesticides etc. In this context, Mandaviya again highlighted the PM-PRANAM (PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment and Amelioration of Mother Earth) scheme launched recently.
The scheme aims to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers by incentivizing states to adopt alternative fertilizers.
Mandaviya also cautioned retail points to desist from diverting urea and fertilisers meant for farmers and agriculture to industries for non-agriculture use.
“There is zero tolerance against diversion for urea meant for farmers. We have taken strict measures towards those found responsible for these activities and coming days will see more strict action against wrongdoers,” he said.
There were two-way interactions with the farmers from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand.
The farmers who interacted with the Minister shared their experiences of using the services offered by Pradhan Mantri Kisam Samridhi Kendras.
Pankaj Bhai from Gujarat said, “PMKSKs have really benefitted us to access inputs like seeds, fertilizers, and medicine, under one room which was previously unavailable to us. Earlier, we had to travel a long distance to access these services and facilities from various shops.”
Also, Dr Ranganath, a radiologist from Karnataka who left his profession for farming said, “PMKSKs help provide testing facilities for soil and water and help in connecting the farmers to those facility centres. It also helps create awareness among farmers regarding good agriculture practices.”
Shravan Kumar from Bihar said, “PMKSK ensures regular capacity building of farmers. It also acts as a community for farmers from nearby areas to interact and share their experiences.”
Bhagwanth Khuba, MoS(C&F) was also present during the virtual interaction session. Rajat Kumar Mishra, Secretary, Deptt of Fertilizers, A Neeraja, Additional Secretary (C&F) and senior officials of the Department of Fertilizers also attended the meeting.