Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said agriculture exports have an important role to play in doubling farmers’ income, and stressed the need for boosting India’s outward shipments to be among top-5 nations in farm exports. Goyal and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday addressed the second day of the Chief Ministers’ Conference on initiatives and schemes of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, according to an official statement. Speaking at the event, Tomar asked the states to take advantage of the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund so that the benefits can percolate to the small and marginal farmers who lack warehousing and cold storage facilities at the farm gate. On digital agriculture mission, he said the farmers’ database is our wealth and will usher in focused programme delivery, reducing seepages, better policy formulation and smart farming in the country.
Database with 5.5 crore farmers is ready and work is progressing for verifying others with land records, he added. Tomar said the Union Cabinet recently approved the National Edible Oil Mission (NMEO-OP) for palm oil with a focus on the northeast region and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Through this scheme, he said the production of edible oils will be accelerated in the country, thereby reducing the import of edible oils. This mission will immensely benefit the palm oil farmers, increase capital investment, generate employment, reduce dependence on imports and increase the income of farmers. During the meeting, the northeastern states appreciated the National Edible Oils-Oil Palm Mission started by the central government, and assured their cooperation in its implementation at their level.
While addressing the conference, Goyal said the central government is working in close alignment with the state governments to transform the future of farmers. He said food security is synonymous with farmers’ security and reforms for farmers have put India on the path of Atmanirbhar Bharat. Agriculture exports have an important role to play in doubling farmers’ income and India should aim to be among the top-5 agri exporting nations, Goyal was quoted as saying in the statement.
India’s export of agricultural and allied products in 2020-21 grew by 17.34 per cent to USD 41.25 billion, as per the government data. Talking about ‘One District-One Product’, the minister said 106 products have been identified from 103 districts and districts should be promoted as export hubs to ensure that local goes global. He informed that red rice is now being exported to USA and Jackfruit from Tripura is being sent to the UK. Free Trade Agreements are being worked out for better markets.
Union Ministers of State for Agriculture Shobha Karandlaje and Kailash Choudhary were present at the meeting. The chief ministers and agriculture ministers appreciated the efforts made by the central government for the progress of the agriculture sector and gave their suggestions regarding various schemes and some regional problems. A presentation on themes of the conference was made by Additional Secretary Vivek Agarwal. He outlined the vision Atmanirbhar agriculture that will transform farmers into entrepreneurs with higher income and better quality of life, make India the food basket of the world and make agriculture the go-to investment opportunity.
To achieve self-sufficiency, 10,000 farmer-producer organisations (FPOs), export-oriented clusters, organic-oriented clusters, and digital agriculture would be set up. The Government of Karnataka gave a presentation on the Crop Survey Project and APEDA gave a presentation on agricultural exports.