Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [ India], September 11 (ANI): Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday emphasised on the need for holistic development of the agriculture sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
As part of the Centre's outreach programme for Jammu and Kashmir, Tomar and his two deputies Kailash Choudhary and Shobha Karandlaje are in the Union Territory.
The Agriculture Minister on Friday visited "Sher-e-Kashmir" University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu and laid the foundation stone of Gene Bank and Cold Storage facility at Mega Seed.
He informed that Rs 1,58,000 crore has been transferred in the bank accounts of 11 lakh farmers of India under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana whereas Rs 1,723 crores have been transferred to the farmers of Jammu and Kashmir, according to the Department of Information and Public Relations.
Tomar said that the government is following the procedure to fix the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of agricultural produce as recommended by the Swaminathan committee which is fifty per cent more of the cost of cultivation.
"However, the MSP announced recently for Rabi crops is almost 100 per cent more than the cost of cultivation. The present budget of agriculture has also increased to Rs 1,23,000 crore which was Rs 23,000 crore in 2014," he added.
The Minister appreciated the efforts of the Central government for the formation of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to strengthen the 85 per cent of marginal and small farmers of India.
He said, "The Kisan Credit Card scheme was launched by the Vajpayee government has saved the farmers from the clutches of moneylenders".
Tomar also informed that the document related to the role of agricultural education in National Education Policy 2020 will be released shortly by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Meanwhile, a prestigious multi-crore ICAR/ World Bank-sponsored Institutional Development Plan (IDP) project was also launched during the function at Baba Jitto Auditorium of SKUAST-Jammu.
Navin K Choudhary, Principal Secretary, Agriculture, and Farmers' Welfare, Government of Jammu and Kashmir raised the issues and demands pertaining to infrastructure development, the establishment of Agricultural Technology Information Centre, center for organic agriculture, development of farms of the university, and sanctioning of more All India Coordinated Research Projects (AICRPs). (ANI)