06 December 2022, New Delhi: The Co-Chairperson of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ms. Melinda French Gates held a meeting with the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar, in New Delhi today.
During the meeting, Mr. Tomar inaugurated the creation of an integrated “Agriculture Investment Portal” by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. The “Krishi Nivesh Portal” (Agriculture Investment Portal) will be a centralized one-stop portal for agri-investors to avail benefits of various government schemes implemented by various departments related to agriculture and allied sectors. He said that this portal would prove to be handy for the investors, they would get a lot of help from it.
Ms. Melinda Gates expressed her desire to work with the Ministry of Agriculture. The Foundation is working in many countries and has a good experience in India. She wants that there should be maximum involvement of women farmers. She also congratulated the minister on India getting the presidency of G-20 and expressed her desire to always work together.
In the meeting, Mr. Tomar said that there are many challenges in the agriculture sector, to solve which the Government of India is continuously working efficiently. He said that the number of small farmers is more in the country, and the government believes that if their strength increases, then the agriculture sector will improve and production will also increase, the government is working in this direction.
The minister appreciated the work being done by the Gates Foundation in various fields in India and mentioned that their working in the agriculture sector in India would prove to be a good experience.
Mr. Tomar told that with the aim of further increasing investment in agriculture, the Government of India has allocated a special package of over Rs 1.5 lakh crore for agriculture and allied sectors under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. Work on these provisions has started, including the Rs. 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. Once these are implemented, the Indian agriculture sector will be rejuvenated.
On the involvement of women in agriculture, Mr. Tomar said that a large number of women are also working in the agriculture sector in India. To increase their number and for their continuous progress, the Union Ministry of Rural Development is also running a scheme for the empowerment of women farmers, with which the Ministry of Agriculture is partnering. At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture spends a certain part of its budget on the upliftment of women farmers.
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