INDIA - With a view to collaborate with Indian governments initiative on public private partnership in agriculture sector, an executive level delegation of US India Business Council having representatives from Food and Agriculture sector meet the Indian agriculture minister, Radha Mohan Singh recently.
Detailing the purpose of their visit the delegation said that they have come to express their commitment to advancing agricultural development in India and discuss areas where the government and industry can collaborate.
Asking about the priorities and vision of ministry of agriculture, Singh briefed the delegation that the focus of the present government is to increase productivity and in this regard government has started new initiatives like irrigation scheme, soil health card, and mobile soil health lab etc in a mission mode.
Under soil health card scheme, the nutritious ingredients of soil will be measured so that appropriate fertilizer may be used for different types of soils. This scheme aims to cover 145 million farmers during next three years.
Emphasizing the need for encouraging organic farming the minister said that certain states like Bihar, Jharkhand, North Eastern States and parts of Eastern UP, which have soil rich in water content and other nutrients, are proposed to be developed as a hub of organic farming and for this purpose, 100,000 villages will be selected.
Today agriculture includes horticulture, dairying, fisheries and animal husbandry also. Government is taking steps to develop all these sectors and necessary research and development work is also being undertaken in this regard, Singh adds.
Singh said that on the pattern of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) two institutes, one each in Ranchi and Assam will be set up. Government have also sanctioned setting up of horticulture university one each in Rajasthan and Haryana so that new inventions and research work is taken to land itself under lab to land initiative by the government.
To avoid wastage of perishable goods like fruits and vegetables, government has given emphasis on cold chain development, rural storage and abolition of Mandi Acts, Singh stressed.
Singh also briefed the delegation about Rastriya Gokul Mission, which aims to increase productivity of indigenous mlich cattle and improve indigenous breed and about the blue revolution in fisheries sector.
Agriculture is country’s lifeline and for the first time, in the budget 2014-15 government have given due priority to agriculture which it deserves.