Pesticide industry to work on alternatives as farmers interested in natural, organic farming: Tomar
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar asked the companies that manufacture pesticides to work on alternatives since more and more farmers are interested in natural and organic farming. He also agreed to talk to the Finance Minister about the industry’s desire for a cut in GST.
Tomar spoke at the Agrochemicals Conclave in Delhi, which was put on by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), via video conferencing from Solan in Himachal Pradesh. He said that the private sector should work with the government to reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides in farming, even though he agreed that there was no wasteful use of these inputs.
Putting an emphasis on crop diversity
The minister emphasized that the industry should work with farmers to diversify their crops since more profitable crops will help them make more money. ‘Payment is very important for farmers in the agricultural sector, but production needs to go up as well. Farmers should lose as little money as possible after the harvest, which means that steps need to be taken to improve agricultural returns. Tomar said, ‘The government wants farmers to use technology to switch to more profitable crops.’
On the industry’s request to lower the 18% GST on pesticides to 5%, he said that the GST Council is looking into the matter. Even so, he would talk about it with the Finance Ministry, but the GST Council would make the final decision, the minister said.
He said that in the last eight years, the Centre has started a lot of programs to help the agriculture sector and double farmers’ incomes. Also Read | ‘Natural farming is need of the hour,’ as input cost risen due to pesticides, fertilizers: NITI.
Since the country doesn’t need to import food grains, the government has been working hard to increase the number of oilseeds and pulses grown. To improve crop yield, more research needs to be done to come up with new types of seeds, and the industry should work toward a balanced use of fertilizers and pesticides.