As told to Parliament (March 25, 2022): Central hub to provide quality seeds to farmers

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As told to Parliament (March 25, 2022): Central hub to provide quality seeds to farmers

The Union government has started seed hubs to produce good quality seeds of pulses, oilseeds and millets, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union minister of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, told the Rajya Sabha March 25, 2022. 

Some institutes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have developed online “seed portals” for farmers, he added.

The seeds are made available to the farmers at the district / taluka level through:  

  • 51 state and central agricultural and horticultural universities 
  • 65 crop-based ICAR institutes and their regional stations
  • 726 Krishi Vigyan Kendras
  • 3,000 dealers of National Seed Corporation Ltd
  • 17 state seed corporations
  • 6 public sector undertakings 
  • 550 private seed companies, farmer-producer organisations and non-profits 

Push for kala namak paddy

The Government of Uttar Pradesh is promoting kala namak paddy under the One District One Product (ODOP) initiative, said Tomar. It has sanctioned a project of Rs 12 crore for promotion of the scented rice variety, the minister added.  

Kala Namak rice is grown in the tarai area of Siddharth Nagar and 10 neighboring districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh. The variety fetches a better price than the rest. 

India on track for ethanol-blending target

In ethanol supply year (ESY) 2020-21 (Dec-Nov), 3 billion litres of ethanol has been supplied to original manufacturers, Niranjan Jyoti, Union minister of state for rural development and consumer affairs, food and public distribution, told the Rajya Sabha. The country has, thus, achieved 8.1 per cent blending levels, which is historically the highest, she added.

About 1.13 billion litres ethanol have been blended with petrol till March 13, 2022 in the 2021-22, thereby achieving 9.45 per cent blending, the minister said. 

In 2021-22, 10 per cent blending target is likely to be achieved. The Centre has fixed a 20 per cent blending target for 2025, which is also likely to be achieved, Jyoti said.

No deaths due to starvation

No state or Union territory has reported any incident of death due to starvation, said Jyoti. 

As per National Family Health Survey-5 report, 67.1 per cent children (age between 6-59 months) are anaemic, 35.5 per cent children under 5 years are stunted, 32.1 per cent are under weight and 19.3 per cent are wasted, she added.

Over 90 million women in agriculture

Around 97.6 million women participated in agriculture, according to the Census 2011, cited Tomar. This comprised 36 million as cultivators and 61.6 million as agricultural labourers, the agriculture minister noted. 

Specific data on the number of women engaged in sowing, hoeing, weeding and harvesting in the agriculture sector is not maintained in the Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, he added.

Fishing communities

The fisheries and aquaculture sector in the country provides livelihood support to a total of 28 million fishers, said Parshottam Rupala, Union minister of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying, in the Rajya Sabha

Out of these, 2.78 million fishers are full-time actively engaged in fisheries and fisheries-related activities, he added. 

Food processing at farm-level

As many as 22 perishable crops have been identified for assistance under long-term measures of Operation Greens scheme, Prahlad Singh Patel, Union minister of state for food processing industries, told the Rajya Sabha.

The clusters are identified for 22 crops in major producing states / districts on the basis of production data provided by the Union ministry of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, he said. The scheme is demand-driven and no state- or district-wise budget is allocated under it, the minister added. 

Close to 500 charging stations set up

The Union Ministry of Heavy Industries had sanctioned 520 charging stations / infrastructure under the Phase-I of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) scheme, Krishan Pal Gurjar, Union minister of state for heavy industries, told the Rajya Sabha. 

The ministry also sanctioned 2,877 electric vehicle charging stations in 68 cities across 25 states / UTs and 1,576 charging stations across nine expressways and 16 highways under Phase II of FAME India scheme, he said. 

Under the two phases of the scheme, a total of 491 charging stations have been installed as on March 1, 2022, Gurjar added. 

Over 2 million children with Type 1 diabetes

The number of children with type 1 diabetes in India is 2,294,000 in the age group of 0-19 years, Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union minister of state for health and family welfare, told the Lok Sabha. She was referring to the 10th International Diabetes Federation Atlas 2021.

The Indian Council of Medical Research has been maintaining the Young Diabetes Registry (YDR) since 2006, the minister said. YDR registry recruits patients with young onset diabetes, diagnosed on or before 25 years of age, she added. The registry operates at 205 centres from 10 cities across India.

Out of 20,351 young diabetes patients recruited, 13,368 (65.6 per cent) had type 1 diabetes, according to the YDR registry, Pawar said.

The estimated number of incidence and mortality of cancer cases in India are 1.39 million and 770,000 respectively, Mansukh Mandaviya, Union minister of health and family welfare, told the Lok Sabha. He was citing data from the Indian Council of Medical Research’s cancer registry data report National Cancer Registry Programme Report, 2020.

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