To boost agriculture production, the government is planning to bring two crore hectares of land under irrigation through various schemes including Rs 80,000-crore AIBP, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said.
Terming severe water crisis in 11 states as the main cause behind farmers’ plight, the Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister said irrigation schemes were being fast-tracked to provide relief to the agrarian community.
“Two crore hectares of land can be irrigated and agriculture production could be doubled through agriculture schemes including Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) for which a provision of Rs 80,000 crore has been made in the budget,” Gadkari said addressing a workshop on ‘Liberating the Farmers from Death Trap’ here.
Besides the AIBP for 89 projects, a provision of Rs 20,000 crore has been made under Pradhan Mantri Sinchai Yojana. Maharashtra’s 28 projects are included in the AIBP, the minister said.
Admitting that farmers’ suicide was a sorry state of affairs, he said the Centre was committed to addressing their problems and bring more cultivable areas under irrigation.
Presently, only 46 per cent of the cultivable area is irrigated.