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Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare visits Kathua

KATHUA: Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, Shobha Karandlaje visited Kathua District under Public Outreach Programme of Government of India today.

The Union MoS e-inaugurated various projects of Public Works Departments( R&B) costing Rs 519.50 lacs, laid e-foundation stones of different projects under JJM worth Rs 198.2 lacs. 

She also inaugurated Pasteurized Compost Unit under Trikuta Mushroom Corridor Project, Burmal coming up at the cost of Rs 46.94 lacs to boost Mushroom Production in the district.

The Union minister gave away farming equipment, tractors, thrashers, combined harvesters, laser levelers to farmers besides Ladli Beti passbooks, and adolescent kits to ICDS beneficiaries.

The Union MoS said the Union Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen to uplift the agriculture community by providing financial as well as technological support under various schemes run by the central government.

She said the government has infused Rs 1,31,000 cr to boost Agriculture and allied sectors with special emphasis on becoming export oriented economy as India has tremendous potential to satiate global demand.

While highlighting the achievements of India in the Agriculture sector, the minister said that India is making remarkable progress in this field which has further improved our ranking in terms of exporting agriculture based products and now stands at 9th position globally.

Projecting the recent stride made by India in Agriculture Production, the minister said the agriculture sector is now contributing over 20% in India's GDP which is expected to grow further.

Referring to the initiatives of the union government to support the farmers, the minister said under PM-KISAN Yojana so far 9 installments have been credited into the accounts of 11 Crore farmers through DBT.

She further exhorted the farming community to replicate best practices of other states, for which the government is extending every possible help under its resolve to double the farmer's income.

Underscoring the importance of mix farming in enhancing the economic capacity of the farmers, the minister said the idea was to provide sustainable means of earning viz poultry, dairy, fisheries and apiculture etc.so as to make farmers economically independent.

The minister said the government is mulling over to come up with the idea of providing financial support to the farmers on the lines of schemes like Karnataka Raitha Suraksha Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna, Rythu Bandhu of Andhra Pradesh and Warehouse/Cold Storage scheme of Tamilnadu across the country.

While appreciating the maiden proposal for establishing an all women Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) aimed at ‘Exploring opportunities in organic farming' and supporting women SHGs, the minister said that similar initiatives should be carried forward so that more farmers could be benefitted. 

She said that for smooth functioning of FPO, a separate corpus will be created through which the staff appointed shall be remunerated besides provision of low interest rate soft loans and subsidies shall be made.

The minister emphasised on the need for technological interventions like mechanised farming, branding, marketing, processing, value addition to farm products etc so that farmers could get remunerative prices for their produce.

While throwing light on the initiatives like digitalisation of mandies, ensuring quality check of seeds through QR code on packing etc, the minister said that in a first of its kind initiative, twenty mandies across the country have been digitized hitherto.

"The much awaited Shahpur Kandi Project once operational will irrigate over 1 lac hectares of land in Samba and Kathua districts relieving the farmers of the kandi belt of twin districts from facing acute water shortage for irrigation purpose" she added.

She also spoke about the Jal Jeewan Mission which aims to supply potable tap water to every household by 2022.

While concluding her remarks, the minister said the present dispensation under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen to empower women by extending reservation in units of local self governance and providing ample opportunities for women to explore new avenues.

DDC Chairperson Mahan Singh in his address lauded the efforts of the prime minister for working towards upliftment of the farming community through various interventions. Besides vice chairperson, DDC, BDCs also spoke on the occasion.

Earlier, Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, Rahul Yadav presented the district profile and highlighted the achievements of the district in Agriculture and allied sectors.

Later, the minister also visited the Seed Multiplication Farm of the Agriculture Department, Hiranagar.

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