Union Minister for agriculture Shri Narendra Singh Tomar will present a roadmap to the Niti Aayog Governing Council in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, revisiting agriculture for future potential challenges.
‘Tomar will address the promotion of water conservation and crop diversification while at the same time aligning the cultivation practices and cropping system with agro-climatic conditions at the district level for the optimal use of resources,’ said the senior agricultural ministry official.
He said the agenda also involves deliberations on the promotion of food production, agro-industrial and export activities.
‘The Union Government has introduced a number of agri and allied sector funds, including the ₹ 1 Lakh Crore Agri Infrastructure Fund. The Minister will explore options to encourage all States to make use of these funds. Focused intervention is needed for growth in order to develop robust agri and allied sectors’ infrastructure, such as the electronic marketplace and value chain,’ the official said.
The Government has divided the farm ecosystem into seven agro-climatic zones for the assessment of crop patterns to address climate change issues. It will help to accelerate towards precision agriculture with optimal level use of water and nutrients through drip irrigation, fertigation, conservation of farming and mechanization.
“Climate changes are happening all over the world. We need to align our cropping system with changes in the climate and monsoon patterns. This will enhance our productivity and help us select the right crop to sow or plant,” the official stated.
He further said that the government has stepped up its emphasis on crop diversification to ensure better realization for farming community and to encourage them to grow high-value horticulture crops. Growing food grains, such as wheat and rice, which are excess, will only lower prices.
‘We have launched programs to divert farmers from planting water-gulping crop like rice to pulses and nutrient-cereals in Haryana and Punjab. Rice areas have been reduced a little, but we need a more systematic approach and incentives to encourage crop diversification,’ he mentioned.
The official said that the Agriculture Minister Tomar will also share plans and initiatives to promote agricultural exports, which can help to double farmers’ incomes.