It will increase farm mechanisation and help achieve projected demand of 280 million tonnes foodgrains by 2020
The Union minister for agriculture, Sharad Pawar, on Wednesday informed the parliamentary consultative committee that farm power availability in the country needs to be scaled up to 2 kw/ha by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan. He said that without achieving this power availability it wasn’t possible to meet the projected demand of 280 million tonnes of food grains by 2020-21.
Informing the committee of MPs, Pawar said the ministry of agriculture was also giving priority to farm mechanization to achieve the 2020-21 foodgrain target. “In order to lay special emphasis on farm mechanization and to bring more inclusiveness, we have proposed a dedicated Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization for the 12th Plan. This not only includes the traditional components of testing and demonstration of agricultural machinery and subsidy on purchase but also includes custom hiring facilities,” he said.
The minister said Indian agriculture is dominated by small and marginal farmers with small landholding and weak economic status. This renders single ownership of many high-value agricultural machinery and equipments such as tractors economically unviable. He emphasised that the farmers have an enormous task of feeding millions of people.
In the past few years, the farm sector has emerged as one of the most vibrant sectors of the Indian economy. Today also, the country’s granaries are full and the food grain supply is completely assured, he claimed. “Demand of foodgrains is bound to increase rapidly. We have to continue to put more emphasis on enhancing agricultural production and productivity for ensuring food and nutritional security of our nation,” he added.
Pawar added that the government needs to ensure sustainable agricultural growth against the backdrop of limited availability of natural resources, especially cultivable land. Increase in agricultural production would have to come mainly from enhancement in farm productivity in the existing cultivated area., and this productivity increase, in turn, can be realized by increasing land and labour efficiency in agriculture through farm mechanization, he said.
Among those present in the meeting were MPs Sharief-ud-din Sharif, Dhruva Narayana Rangaswamy, M Krishnaswamy, K Sugumar, K P Dhanapalan, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Gobinda Chandra Naskar, Sardar Sher Singh Ghubaya, Kunvarjibhai Bavalia, M S Swaminathan, Renubala Pradhan and Santosh Chowdhary.
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