Amid growing unrest among farmers in different states, Union minister Prakash Javadekar has said the Narendra Modi-led government has set the target of doubling the farmers’ income by 2022 in the next five years through a seven-point strategy. This seven point-strategy, unveiled by the Prime Minister last year, include measures to step up irrigation, provide better quality seeds and prevent post-harvest losses. “The NDA government has set the objective of doubling the farmers’ income by 2022. We are giving an emphasis on raising the farmers’ income rather than the past practice of increasing the agriculture output,” the HRD Minister said.
He was speaking after inaugurating the three-day ‘Making of Developed India Mela’ (MODI Fest) at Anand about 40 kms from here yesterday. Elaborating on the seven-point strategy, the senior BJP leader said, “There is a big focus on irrigation with large budgets, with the aim of ‘per drop, more crop’; provision of quality seeds and nutrients based on soil health of each field; large investments in warehousing and cold chains to prevent post-harvest crop losses and promotion of value addition through food processing.
“Then, creation of a national farm market, removing distortions and e-platform across 585 stations; introduction of a new crop insurance scheme to mitigate risks at affordable cost and promotion of ancillary activities like poultry, beekeeping and fisheries, are also part of the strategy.”
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The minister also said that introduction of smaller versions of neem-coated urea bags has helped in cutting the overall urea consumption and saved Rs 7,000 crore subsidy annually. “Now, the urea bags have been made available in 45 kg, in place of the 50 kg bags available in the past. Usually, farmers calculate how much urea they need for one acre of farm land in terms of bags. So, by reducing five kgs from each urea bag, there has been a 10 per cent fall in urea consumption. Moreover, 45-kg of neem coated urea is equivalent to normal 50 kg bag. So there is less wastage,” he said. According to Javadekar, the Centre has so far distributed seven crore soil health cards to the farmers.