Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today emphasised the need for all round development of agriculture and its allied sector to increase the income of farmers. “The main objective behind formulating agriculture road map is to increase the income of farmers,” Kumar said while addressing a ‘Kisan Samagam’ here. The state government has organised a ‘Kisan Samagam’ at Samrat Ashok Convention Centre (Gyan Bhawan) here to seek suggestions from farmers gathered from across the state on the occasion. The government, which has prepared a draft proposal of ‘Agriculture Roadmap for 2017-22, would incorporate the suggestions in the road map before finalising it.
Stating that 89 per cent people of Bihar live in rural areas, Kumar said that “76 per cent people are dependent on agriculture sector to eke out their livelihood in the state. In this backdrop, there is a need for development of agriculture sector and its income.” Kumar, in his last ‘Lok Samvad’ programme held on Monday last, had said that several parts of the country was facing agrarian crisis which can’t be dealt alone by loan waiver scheme, rather NDA government should fulfil its poll promise and give production cost plus 50 per cent as minimum support price (MSP) to farmers.
“Major parts of the country are facing agrarian crisis today…It is ironical that both production and productivity of farm sector have increased, but farmers are in distress as they are not getting fair price of their produce as their input cost is increasing. This is the real problem,” Kumar had said. “The Centre should consider announcing production cost plus 50 per cent as MSP in order to resolve the agrarian crisis,” he said. In his address at the Samagam, Kumar said Bihar’s villages, at present, do not face any starvation situation rather people here have sufficient income to run their families.
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“But it was witnessed that people, who consume liquor, are wasting their money on liquor consumption and hence the state government implemented total prohibition in the state that saved Rs 10,000 crore being spent on liquor,” the CM said. Stating that the state government had introduced its first ‘Agriculture Roadmap’ for four years from 2008 to 2012 to bring rainbow revolution, Kumar said that both production and productivity increased in the state after the successful implementation of the first road map which emphasised on the use of seed, seed replacement, vermicompost, etc.
The state created a world record in paddy productivity, he added. Later, the second agriculture road map was implemented between 2012-17 which was also successful in achieving its goals and now “the draft proposal of third agriculture road map (2017-22) has been prepared and it would be meaningless until and unless your (farmers’) views/suggestions are heard,” Kumar said. Some of the farmers complained to the Chief Minister that farmers are in distress and Bihar may also become Madhya Pradesh if things are not improved.
Kumar, who admitted the shortcomings in the entire machinery besides problems in implementation of the scheme, sat with the farmers on the floor and had lunch with them along with his ministers during the lunch break. Prominent ministers who were present on the occasion included – Deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, Agriculture Minister Ram Vichar Rai, Industries Minister Jai Kumar Singh, Animal and Fish Resources minister Awadhesh Kumar Singh and other top officials.