Indian agricultural sector is facing a number of challenges. On one hand, there are challenges to feed a growing population, on the other hand, our farmers are facing challenges due to the limited availability of natural resources along with increasing pressure on agricultural land. The problems emerging due to climate change and consequent to it the adverse circumstances are clear on the scenario. In spite of these challenges, Modi Government has resolved to double the incomes of farmers within a span of five years trigging a great responsibility on govt’s shoulders. However, the govt is working in a fast track in this direction. The above statement was delivered by Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh today on the inauguration of National Workshop organized on Indian Green Agricultural Project. The organization of this green workshop was carried out under the joint efforts of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change as well as Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Among the dignitaries presents in this workshop were Secreatary, DAC& FW, Shri S.K. Pattanayak, DG, ICAR and Secretary DARE, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Joint Secretary, DAC&FW, Shri R.B. Sinha and Indian representatives of United Nations’s, Food and Agriculture Organization Dr. Shyam Khadka.
Shri Singh said that the fifth national report submitted in Bio-Diversification Summit by India indicates that there is an acute pressure on the productivity potential of land in various pockets of the country due to the extension in the area of agriculture and continuous use of the land. This pressure owes its existence particularly due to deforestation, disintegration of forest areas, eradication of wet land and conversion of meadows into agricultural sector. This has solved the problem of foodgrain to some extent, however, it has triggered a scarcity in bio diversification. It has also posed a challenge for the survival of wild life as well as human beings.
Union Minister further said that the Government of India has resolved to sort out these problems and has chalked out a number of schemes viz. climate smart agriculture, sustainable land use and management, bio-production, use of local and traditional knowledge along with the agriculture bio diversification conservation. In addition, a number of National Level Programmes like National Mission for Sustainable Development of Agriculture (NMSA), Integrated Horticulture Development Mission (MIDH), National Livestock Development Mission as well as Traditional Agriculture Development Scheme (PKVY) etc. are being implemented. However, the challenges still persist. This workshop has been organized to have a substantial discussion on the subject. This project will be finalized for implementation in the country after having obtained a substantial fora for sustainable agriculture in India based on the negotiations conducted in this workshop.
The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) was started in India in 1991. It has the mandate to resolve problems related to global environment. GEF provides financial support for environmental improvements. The span of GEF is for five years which reflects sustainable agriculture development, land degradation, bio diversification and sustainable forest management because it is directly related to the adaptation of climate change process. For the first time, Global Environment Facility (GEF) has approved the project related to Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on the subject “to obtain revolutionary change on the strategies and methodologies for sustainable agriculture in India” to implement it in a various parts of five states viz Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa and Mizoram. A sum of 37 million dollars (Rs. 250 crores) would be incurred on this project which India has achieved in the form of grant-in-aid. This project will be implemented by the Agriculture Departments of the States within the span of seven years.
For this programme, Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India is a political focal point of GEF which is responsible for the strategies and administration, whereas the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is a focal point of GEF in India which will carry out the responsibilities of coordinations of GEF programmes.
It is pertinent to note that the Secretaries of the Departments concerned, top brass of the Centre and State Governments, Non Government Organizations and enlightened farmers of different states as well as the representatives of various organizations participated in this workshop.