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Agriculture Infrastructure Fund will change condition of agriculture and farmers

MP will not lag behind in executing PM Shri Modi's remarkable plan on ground: CM Shri Chouhan
Efforts made by Madhya Pradesh were highlighted
Union Agriculture Minister Shri Tomar holds talks with MP and other states

भोपाल : शुक्रवार, अगस्त 21, 2020, 21:54 IST

Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan today took part in a detailed discussion in a video conference with the Union Agriculture, Farmers Welfare, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar on the implementation of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. Union Minister Shri Tomar held a discussion with states about infrastructure fund in agriculture sector under Atmanirbhar Bharat in the video conference and urged them to make the project successful, prepared by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for the prosperity of farmers. On this occasion, Chief Minister Shri Chouhan said that Madhya Pradesh will work to derive maximum benefit from the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund under Prime Minister Shri Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat. Chief Minister Shri Chouhan said that this is a wonderful scheme to double the income of farmers. Government of Madhya Pradesh will leave no stone unturned in its implementation. The Madhya Pradesh government has started concrete efforts to implement it on ground.

The efforts made by Madhya Pradesh were highlighted in the video conference today. Officials of the Union Ministry of Agriculture described the advance initiative taken in Madhya Pradesh to take advantage of the provisions of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund through Atmanirbhar webinars as an ‘exemplary’ for other states.

Both the Ministers of State of the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Purushottam Rupala and Shri Kailash Chaudhary, besides Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat and Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministers of Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and other states were present at the video conference of Union Agriculture Ministry.

Chief Minister Shri Chouhan assured the Union Minister that well-planned efforts will be made in Madhya Pradesh to double the income of farmers by the year 2022. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative and Horticulture have commenced activities in this direction. The formation of State Level Monitoring Committee and District Level Monitoring Committees on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, aims to expand the Farmers Producer Organizations (FPO) as a movement. Instructions have been given to send at least two proposals from every block under the scheme. Two committees comprising officers of Cooperatives Department, Apex Bank and MARKFED have been constituted on behalf of the Cooperatives Department including officers of Government undertakings NABARD and NCVC. As per the laid down norms, 263 District Level Primary Agricultural Credit Cooperative Societies (PACS) and 54 Marketing Societies have already been identified.

Chief Minister Shri Chouhan informed that a chain of high breed seed grading plant, vacuum wheat packing unit, warehouse, cold storage will be developed in Madhya Pradesh. Processing units will be developed in Madhya Pradesh while taking advantage of surplus production of vegetables and fruits in different districts under Ek Jila- Ek Pehchan. At present, farmers do not get the benefits in the event of a decline in prices of the produce due to higher production. Pack house, cold room, integrated house, integrated cold chain supply, mobile processing unit and cases of sorting and grading are being prepared by the Horticulture Department. In this regard, concrete suggestions received in the recent discussions held to create a roadmap in Atmanirbhar webinars will be implemented. Chief Minister Shri Chouhan said that he endorses Prime Minister Shri Modi views that farmers welfare is not possible only through subsidy etc. but a long term plan should be made and maximum benefits should be provided while protecting the producers from middlemen. Chief Minister Shri Chouhan said that startups in the field of agricultural production will also be encouraged in the state. Madhya Pradesh is committed to derive better results under the package of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Agriculture sector will witness revolution: Union Minister Shri Tomar

Union Minister Shri Tomar said that today the discussion being held with the states on the provision of Rs one lakh crore in the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund set up by the Prime Minister Shri Modi under Atmanirbhar Bharat and points of implementation will give pace to this work. Large scale investment in agriculture sector will definitely bring about a revolution. These efforts of radical change will contribute greatly to Atmanirbhar Bharat. Union Minister Shri Tomar informed that the package of Rs one lakh crore was approved on July 8, the action was completed on August 9 after one month. On this day, Prime Minister Modi benefited eight and a half crore families of farmers by distributing Rs 17 thousand crore of PM Kisan Samanya Nidhi. Apart from this, 30 days after the approval of the scheme by the Cabinet, more than Rs 1000 crore was sanctioned to 2282 agriculture societies. Union Minister Shri Tomar said that the states should be concerned about strengthening infrastructure in the agriculture sector and improving the economic condition of the farmers. Efforts should be made to implement the package systematically. A webinar should also be considered in this regard. Provision made for Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) will change the picture of 85 percent small and medium farmers. The area of such farmers must increase, less inputs should be used for production, cost should also be reduced besides balanced use of water for irrigation, fertilizer etc. must be ensured. Efforts should be made for agricultural work by global standards. Union Minister Shri Tomar said that the benefit of agreement with banks will also be gained in improving the economic condition of farmers.

Presentation of Agriculture Secretary

Initially, the Agriculture Secretary of the Government of India, Shri Vivek Agrawal gave a detailed presentation related to financial provisions of the centrally funded Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, subsidy on interest, credit guarantee, eligibility of beneficiary and institution, projects to be operated for construction of community agricultural assets, post harvest management projects and sector-specific grants to entrepreneurs. He said that even states can make innovations in this area. Implementation of the draft being prepared in Madhya Pradesh for Atmanirbhar Bharat can be obtained by affiliating it with Agricultural Infrastructure Fund. Efforts can be made to obtain loans from the World Bank or other institutions. Good results will be obtained by making a detailed project report in the current financial year.

Initiative to build a favourable ecosystem

Government of India has taken the initiative to create a favourable ecosystem in the direction of making farmers as entrepreneurs. This initiative is capable enough to reach every part of the country. A target of Rs seven thousand crore has been set in the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund for Madhya Pradesh. Provisions of government assistance have been made in the scheme for the farmers. In this, there will be a exemption of three percent in the annual interest rate in case of maximum loan amount of Rs. 2 crore. This exemption will be for a maximum period of 7 years. Under the credit guarantee, the government will pay the required amount of credit guarantee fee per case on the maximum loan amount of Rs 2 crore. Under the scheme, primary agricultural credit societies, farmer producer groups, self-help groups, agricultural entrepreneurs, startups and multi-purpose cooperative societies as well as central / state agencies or public private partnership (PPP) projects have been considered eligible. With coordinated efforts there is an aim to make India the global food market.

In his address, Chairman Shri Govinda Rajulu Chintala of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) termed the Agricultural Infrastructure Fund as a commendable step. Minister for Farmers Welfare and Agriculture Development Shri Kamal Patel, Minister for Cooperatives and Public Management Shri Arvind Bhadoriya including other Ministers as well as Chief Secretary Shri Iqbal Singh Bains, Agriculture Production Commissioner Shri K.K. Singh, Commissioner Public Relations Dr. Sudam Khade were present at the video conference.

Ashok Manwani
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