19 September 2021, New Delhi: Addressing the conference of Lieutenant Governors/Administrators of all UTs, Union Agriculture Minister Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar stated that benefits of Central Government schemes for Agriculture sector should reach the correct farmers. Although funds are not a constraint, it is the implementation of the scheme which should be proper. Emphasizing on the KCC drive, he said the Kisan Credit Card cover has been provided to farmers even under the shadow of COVID. The government has been running a campaign for saturation of KCC to farmers since February 2020 to cover all left-over farmers with special focus on PM Kisan beneficiaries. Mr. Tomar said that loan target of 16 lac crore has been set for the current year and around 14 lac crore has already been given to the farmers through KCC.
The Minister said that the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund will help the farmer to secure loans easily for development of infrastructure at the farm gate. This will help the small farmer in storage and protection of his crop.
The Minister said that under the Digital Agriculture Mission, the database of 5.5 crore farmers has been prepared and it will reach 8 crore by December. He urged the Union Territories for cooperation in this. Mr. Tomar said that there is a lot of potential in the Union Territories for cultivation of high value crops and oil palm as per global standards.
Mr. Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor, J&K, Admiral D K Joshi, Lieutenant Governor, Andaman and Nicobar Island participated in the discussion and gave an overview of the implementation of various schemes of the central government in their respective UTs. Officials and delegates of other UTs also participated in the discussions.
During the conference, presentations were given to all UTs by the senior officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on schemes of the Union Government for the benefit of farmers. The overall beneficiary payment status and the self-registration status under the PM KISAN was explained. To ensure higher coverage and transfer of benefits to eligible beneficiaries, UTs were asked to take the following actions- Upgradation of beneficiary database, village wise beneficiary list to be displayed in Gram Panchayat for social audit, Digital land record to be integrated with PM-KISAN database, Physical verification to be completed in a stipulated time, Pending grievance report to be resolved on a priority basis and recovery from ineligible and IT payee farmers to be done.
The PM Kisan Maandhan Yojana was explained and the present status of the beneficiaries discussed with the UTs. Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) and its modifications were explained. Eligible activities under the AIF were explained to UTs. The presentation showcased investment opportunities of around Rs. 1700 crore and Employment generation opportunities of more than 20,000 in 7 UTs under activities like dry storage, pack house, cold storage, ripening chamber, reefer vehicles, smart and precision farming etc. related to AIF.
During the presentations, the UTs were asked to extend all the required assistance to farmers and banks to cover all eligible farmers of the UTs, to schedule camps at bank branches level for receiving application form for KCC, to hold meeting of Gram Sabha to inform the farmers about the drive and to conduct review meeting on regular basis. UT wise implementation status of the PM Fasal Bima Yojana was discussed. The NMEO-OP, oil Palm mission and oil palm strategy was also discussed with emphasis on Andaman & Nicobar. Possibilities for oilseeds crop in 3 UTs (J&K & Ladakh) were also highlighted. The presentation also explained the Sub-Mission on seeds and planting materials (SMSP). Presentations were also made on Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture and schemes implemented by Marketing Division.
Among those who attended the conference were Mr. Kailash Choudhary, MoS Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Ms. Shobha Karandlaje, MoS Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Mr. Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, MoAFW along with senior officials of the MoAFW and all UTs and progressive farmers.