Narendra Singh Tomar stated that the centre and states would work together to ensure pesticide and seeds availability to reduce input costs for farmers
Union Agriculture Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated National Conference on Agriculture for Kharif Campaign 2022-23 at NASC Complex, New Delhi. The minister expressed satisfaction that as per 2nd Advance Estimates (2021-22), total foodgrains production in the country is estimated at 3160 lakh tonnes which will be a record. The pulses and oilseeds production will be 269.5 and 371.5 lakh tonnes, respectively. As per third advanced estimates, horticulture production during 2020-21 is 3310.5 lakh tonnes which is the highest ever for Indian horticulture.
The minister stated that the centre and states would work together to ensure pesticide and seeds availability to reduce input costs for farmers. He urged that there should be a strategy to replace urea with nano-urea. He declared that the government would continue to emphasise natural and organic farming. On exports, the minister said that while agriculture exports have increased, attention should be paid to quality products so that they can compete in international markets. Exporters and farmers both should benefit.
The objective of this conference was to review and assess the crop performance during the preceding crop seasons and fix crop-wise targets for the Kharif season in consultation with state governments, ensure the supply of critical inputs and facilitate the adoption of innovative technologies to enhance production and productivity of the crops. The priority of the government is agro-ecological based crop planning for diversion of land from excess commodities like rice and wheat to deficit commodities like oilseeds and pulses and high-value export earning crops. The government is giving high priority to crop diversification with a focus on self-sufficiency in oilseeds and pulses and the promotion of oil palm. Consultations with all the stakeholders like major states, researchers, industries and policy makers have been held to finalise a National Policy Frame Work for Crop Diversification Programme in the country. All states should work towards crop diversification for making agriculture sustainable, profitable and self-sufficient in deficit commodities.
The conference set national targets for total food grain production set at 3280 lakh tonne for the year 2022-23 compared to expected production of 3160 lakh tonne during the current year. The target for production of pulses has been fixed at 295.5 and 413.4 lakh tonne in 2022-23. Nutri-cereals production has to be increased from 115.3 in 2021-22 to 205.0 lakh tonnes in 2022-23. The strategy would be to increase area through inter-cropping and crop diversification and productivity enhancement through the introduction of HYVs and the adoption of suitable agronomic practices in low yielding regions.
Manoj Ahuja, Secretary (Agriculture and Farmers Welfare), said that the country is maintaining an increasing trend in food grain production from 2015-16. The total food grain production has increased by 25 per cent in the last six years from 251.54 to 316.01 million tonne. Oilseeds have followed the same trend and have shown a growth of 42 per cent from 25.25 million tonne in 2015-16 to 37.15 million tonne in 2021-22. India’s exports of agricultural products have grown by 19.92 per cent during 2021-22 to touch $50.21 billion ( Rs 376575 crore). The commodities like wheat, other cereals, rice (other than Basmati), soya meal, raw cotton, fresh vegetable, processed vegetables etc have registered the most positive growths.
He said, “We have to accelerate the production and productivity of agriculture and horticulture sectors for ensuring food and nutritional security in the rural areas. The government has adopted several developmental programmes, schemes, reforms and policies that focus on higher incomes for the farmers. Action Plan for three years Seed Rolling Plan (2021-22 to 2023-24) for all oilseeds with allocation Rs 381.95 crore will produce a total of 14.7 lakh quintals of quality seed of new HYVs will be produced in next three years.”
Making a detailed presentation on the strategies for crop management in Kharif season, Dr AK Singh, Agriculture Commissioner said that country has recorded all-time high food grains, oilseeds and horticultural production due to timely interventions of the government. Now, special focus is given to oilseeds, pulses and nutria-cereals. Post monsoon, rainfall has been more than normal and about 55.76 lakh hectares were under cultivation during summer. Following government policy, there has been a reduction in area under rice with a corresponding increase in pulses and oilseeds cultivation. The government has worked out the requirement of seed and fertilisers and will ensure their timely supply.