In comparison to previous year, the growth in agriculture and allied sectors will be higher during this fiscal as the country is likely to harvest bumper crop buoyed by good rains. According to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, the Centre will procure pulses and other crops if rates fall below the minimum support price (MSP) level.
“I am confident that the growth in agri-sector in 2016-17 would be much better than last few years,” Singh told media while briefing his ministry’s achievements in the last 30 months. The farm sector growth stood at 1.2 per cent in the 2015-16 fiscal due to drought. Niti Aayog has pegged farm and allied sector’s growth at 5.5 percent for this fiscal on the back of record kharif foodgrain production at 135 million tonnes and likely bumper output in the ongoing rabi season, helped by good monsoon in most parts of the country. In reply to a question on farmers’ distress in view of sharp fall in wholesale prices of various commodities including pulses, onion and potatoes, the minister said, “We are procuring copra and arecanut under the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) to ensure MSP to farmers. Even the Food Ministry is also procuring pulses under Price Stabalisation Fund.”
Stressing on different scheme launched by the ministry for the welfare of farmers, Singh said, “In the last 30 months, the Centre has initiated over 30 major projects, which include Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Soil Health Card Scheme, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, National Agriculture Market, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, development of beekeeping, Farmer Producer Organization, financing of joint liability groups, State Disaster Relief Fund, National Disaster Relief Fund, neem coated urea, initiation of mobile app for farmers, Rashtriya Gokul Mission, etc.”
Programmes like pashudhan sanjivani, e-pashudhan haat portal was launched to provide authentic market for bovine. During his regime, fish production increased from 186.12 lakh tonnes during 2012-14 to 209.59 tonnes during 2014-16 making annual growth rate of fish production during 2015-16 to 6.21 per cent.