National Conference of State Agriculture and Horticulture Ministers begins in Bengaluru

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14 July 2022, New Delhi: The National Conference of State Agriculture and Horticulture Ministers has been organized in Bengaluru this year. It was inaugurated today in the presence of Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Health and Family Welfare, and Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr. Basavaraj Bommai. 

This conference has been organized by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to deliberate upon to ensure the development of agriculture and farmers in the country.

Addressing the Inaugural ceremony, Mr. Tomar said that the Central and State Governments are working together in the field of agriculture, yet we all bear the important responsibility to solve the challenges facing the agriculture sector, formulate policies and their proper implementation. 

“Our country is the largest democracy, where there is diversity of ideology, language, geography and climate, but herein lies the strength of India. There is a need to discuss how this can be used in the interest of the States and the country in the context of agriculture. Agriculture is a very sensitive sector which is connected to crores of farmers. Work needs to be done without any vested interest on how the Centre and States can bring about a change in the lives of small farmers sitting in the villages. Prime Minister Mr. Modi has recently said that whatever is happening on the land, that should also reach the lab. This needs to be looked into because till now the focus was on ‘Lab to Land,’” he said.

Mr. Tomar said that the country has to depend on the import of fertilizers and the central government is incurring a subsidy of about Rs. 2.5 lakh crore rupees annually in the interest of farmers, so that the burden of rising prices internationally does not fall on our farmers. But there must be an end to this situation at sometime, he said. 

Describing the importance of nano fertiliser, Mr. Tomar said that the role of the states is important in promoting it. Due to the hard work of the farmers, the skill of the scientists and the policies of the Centre and States, agriculture in the country has developed better and is becoming sustainable. He asked the Ministers of the States to do their best work during their tenure for faster progress of agriculture.

Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya said that India has to import it in large quantities, the raw material is also very expensive, and yet the central government is giving excessive subsidy. Subsidy on DAP has been hiked from Rs. 512 in 2020-21 to Rs. 2,501 for the 2022-23 Kharif season. DAP price in India is lowest as compared to other countries. Dr. Mandaviya said that as per the directions of the Prime Minister, the burden of increased cost is not being passed on to the farmers and the government is committed to the easy availability of fertilizers across the country, but now there is a dire need to increase the use of nano fertilizers and undertake this as a campaign across the country. Requesting cooperation from the states in this regard, he said that district-wise data of availability of fertilizers should be maintained so that it can be properly managed and distributed. Strict monitoring should also be done that farmers’ fertilizers is not diverted to industries anywhere. He said that model outlets will soon be launched across the country.

Also Read: Researchers use storytelling to evaluate women’s agency in agricultural production

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