The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that despite difficult challenges being faced by ICAR in its working period of 87 years, it has attained many achievements and these achievements are the milestones of progress of agriculture. Increase in production and income, development of institutes, human resources, development of new techniques, agriculture diversification are the areas in which ICAR has established new standards of success. Shri Radha Mohan Singh made this statement today in the 88th AGM of ICAR Society in New Delhi.
On this occasion, Secretary, the Department of Agricultural Research and Education & DG, ICAR, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra and distinguished members of Society and senior officers of ICAR were also present.
Shri Singh said that Government is committed to double the income of farmers in five years. In this budget, holistic development of agriculture is the main focus in which to provide credit to farmers on affordable rates, assured supply of seeds and fertilisers, increase in irrigation facilities, increase in productivity through soil health cards, through E-nam assured market and providing profitable price has been emphasised.
Agriculture Minister said that for the progress of agriculture and prosperity of farmers, Government has made many initiatives in the budget, In comparison to the budget last year, in the budget of year 2017-18, the fund for rural, agriculture and allied sectors has been increased by 24%, it is now Rs. 1,87,223 crore. In the next financial year, it is estimated that the progress rate of agriculture sector will be 4.1%.
Shri Singh said that because of a good monsoon and policy initiatives by the government, there is a record production of food grains this year. As per the second advance estimate for the year 2016-17, there would be a total of 271.98 million tonnes production of food grains which is 6.94 million tonnes compared to last records (265.04 MT is 2013-14) 20.41 million tonnes higher than last year production.
Shri Singh said that during this Rabi in comparison to last year 2015-16, we got more sowing has been done viz. 7.7% in wheat, 12.96% in pulses and 12.69% in oilseeds which is in total 6.86% more in comparison to last year. Agriculture Minister said that Indian agriculture scientists have played a major role developing research and technology and bringing green revolution, and thereby in the development of agriculture. Since 1951, production of food grains has increased five times, horticulture production by 9.5 times, Fisheries production by 12.5 times, milk production by 7.8 times and egg production by 3.9 times. This has made a considerable impact on national food nutritional security. Our scientists have major role in increasing the excellence of higher agriculture education.
Shri Singh said that in the International Pulse Year 2016, 150 seed herbs of pulses have been established. Early maturing variety of moong “IPM 205-7(VIRAT)” has been released. The efforts for promoting research in agriculture sector have been remarkable in the last two and a half years. From the year 2012 to May, 2014, 261 new varieties of different crops have been released and from of June, 2014 to December, 2016, 437 new varieties have been released.
To increase International co-operation in the field of agriculture during October, 2016, in New Delhi with the help of coordination unit, one MoU has been signed for establishment of BRICS research platform in agriculture. This unit will be managed by DARE, GoI. Besides this in the year 2016, 17 international collaborative projects have also been approved.
Shri Singh said that since agriculture is state subject, so State Agriculture Ministers have an important role in its progress. On this occasion Agriculture Minister appealed to all the representatives to develop scientists-state-farmer linkage and to work unitedly in coordination with centre for the prosperity of farmers and progress of agriculture.