US-India business delegation meets Agriculture Minister
"Detailing the purpose of their visit the delegation said that they have come to express their commitment to advancing agricultural development in India and discuss areas where the Government and industry can collaborate," read an official statement.
Asking about the priorities and vision of Ministry of Agriculture,Radha Mohan Singh briefed the delegation that the focus of the present government is to increase productivity.
"In this regard Government have started new initiatives like Irrigation Scheme, Soil Health Card, and Mobile Soil Health Lab etc. All these measures are proposed to be taken in a mission mode. Under Soil Health Card Scheme, the nutritious ingredients of soil will be measured so that appropriate fertilizer may be used for different types of soils. This scheme aims to cover 14.5 crore farmers during next 3 years," read the statement.
Emphasizing the need for encouraging organic farming the Minister said that certain states like Bihar, Jharkhand, North Eastern States and parts of Eastern UP, which have soil rich in water content and other nutrients, are proposed to be developed as a hub of organic farming.
For this purpose, one lakh villages will be selected.
He added that today agriculture includes horticulture, dairying, fisheries and animal husbandry also.
The government is taking steps to develop all these sectors and necessary research and development work is also being undertaken in this regard.
Radha Mohan Singh said that on the pattern of IARI two institutes, one each in Ranchi and Assam will be set up and 639 KVKs are being strengthened to give necessary input to farmers.
The Government have also sanctioned setting up of horticulture university one each in Rajasthan and Haryana so that new inventions and research work is taken to land itself under lab to land initiative by the Government.
He further elaborated that to avoid wastage of perishable goods like fruits and vegetables, the Government has given emphasis on cold chain development, rural storage and abolition of Mandi Acts.
In order to encourage saffron cultivation Government have approved Rs. 400 crore project in Jammu and Kashmir.
He also briefed the delegation about Rastriya Gokul Mission, which aims to increase productivity of indigenous mlich cattle and improve indigenous breed.
Radha Mohan Singh apprised the delegation about the blue revolution in fisheries sector.
Singh said that agriculture is country’s lifeline.
For the first time, in the budget 2014-15, the Government have given due priority to agriculture which it deserves.
Singh also mentioned that focus is being given on covering more and more states under production of pulses and oilseeds crops.
The delegation expressed its happiness that the new initiatives of the present Government will take Indian Agriculture to new heights and expressed their willingness to be associated with agriculture development in India wherever possible.