Shri Tomar emphasizes that progress in the agriculture sector will help in making the country self-reliant; the COVID crisis has shown that Indian farmers are capable of overcoming any difficult situation.
13 June 2020, New Delhi: Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar has emphasised on increasing private investment in the field of agriculture. Addressing an international webinar organized by Ch. Charan Singh University, Meerut and a national webinar organised by Junagadh Agricultural University today, Mr. Tomar said that this will increase prosperity in the agriculture sector, which in turn will increase self reliance and prosperity in the country. He also called upon scientists to contribute in increasing agricultural production and mitigate difficulties.
In the webinar organised by Meerut University, Mr. Tomar said that in food-grain production, India is not only self-sufficient but also surplus. Farmers have demonstrated that they are capable of dealing with difficult challenges. To deal with the growing population of the country which is expected to reach 160 crores by the year 2050. Plant breeders and scientists in India are faced with the challenge of increasing production of quality food-grains and providing enough nutritional food to all Indians. This will only be possible by undertaking progressive farming to develop disease-resistant and pest-resistant varieties that require less area and are able to grow in unfavourable conditions like dry climate, high temperature, saline and acidic soils. Bio-fortification strategy must also be used to develop high quality crop varieties having high protein, iron, zinc etc. nutritional content.
Mr. Tomar said that in connection with attracting private investment in the agriculture sector, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has announced a provision of Rs. One lakh crore for developing agricultural infrastructure. Similar provisions have also been announced for the fisheries, animal husbandry, bee-farming, herbal farming, food processing etc, sectors. Mr. Tomar emphasised on soil health testing and appealed for creating awareness about this.
The Union Agriculture Minister stressed on achieving better farm production with less water. Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has said that unless the villages do not become self-reliant, the country cannot prosper. To strengthen the rural economy, agriculture has to prosper and also its sister concerns. When this happens, the country will be able to face all other challenges.
Mr. Tomar said that in the Coronavirus crisis when the wheels of the world economy had slowed down, the Indian farmers produced a bumper crop with the resources available in the rural areas, crop harvesting continued at normal pace during the lockdown, crop production was more than last year and sowing of kharif crops has also been 45 percent more than last year. This shows the resilience of our villages and farmers.