09 September 2022, New Delhi: National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign 2022-23 was organised yesterday at New Delhi to discuss the upcoming Rabi season planning and crop coverage. Union Agriculture Minister, Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar speaking at the inaugural address of the National Conference said, “As per 4th Advance Estimates (2021-22), production of food grains in the country is estimated at 3157 lakh tonnes which is higher by 50 lakh tonnes than the production of food grain during 2020-21. Total pulses and oilseeds production during 2021-22 is estimated at record 277 and 377 lakh tonnes respectively.”
He further mentioned that Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, under which Rs 1.22 lakh crore has been given to farmers as compensation for the loss of their crops. Mr. Tomar said that all the farmers should be brought under the ambit of this scheme. This will especially make small farmers feel secure. He said that the productivity of the soil is decreasing due to the use of chemical fertilizers, hence organic and natural farming is being promoted.
The Minister expressed satisfaction on the success of Mustard Mission during first two years of its implementation. Mustard production has jumped by 29% from 91.24 to 117.46 lakh tonnes in last two years. The productivity saw 10% jump from 1331 to 1458 kg/ha. The area under rapeseed & mustard has increased by 17% from 68.56 in 2019-20 to 80.58 lakh ha in 2021-22. He appreciated the farming community and the State Governments for this commendable achievement. The increased mustard production will help in bridging the gap of imports of palm and sunflower oil. Government is now implementing Special Soybean and Sunflower Missions on the pattern of Mustard Mission.
Mr. Tomar said that the Central Government has started work on Digital Agriculture to bridge the gap between the farmers and the Government so that the farmers get the benefits of the government schemes transparently. There is also a need to work together on the digital agriculture mission. He also said that with the efforts of the Prime Minister, the year 2023 will be celebrated as the International Year of Millets. India is going to lead this programme all over the world.
The National targets for total food grain production has been set at 3280 lakh tonnes for the year 2022-23 in which rabi season will contribute 1648 lakh tonnes. The strategies would be to enhance area through inter-cropping, crop diversification, and productivity enhancement by introducing High Yield Varieties (HYVs), adoption of suitable agronomic practices in low yielding regions, utilising residual moisture, early sowing and lifesaving irrigation for rabi crops.
The objective of this Conference is to review and assess the crop performance during the preceding crop seasons and fix crop-wise targets for rabi season in consultation with State Governments, ensure supply of critical inputs and facilitate adoption of innovative technologies with a view to enhance production and productivity of the crops.
Mr. Manoj Ahuja, Secretary Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare informed that the country is maintaining an increasing trend in food grains production since 2015-16. The total food grains production has increased by 25% in last seven years from 251.54 to 315.72 million tonnes. Oilseeds and pulses have followed the same trend. The exports of agricultural products (including marine and plantation products) for the year 2021-22 have crossed USD 50 billion, highest ever achieved for agriculture exports.
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