There are a lot that the rest of the country could learn from Sikkim, says the Union Minister for Agriculture Shri Radha Mohan Singh. Speaking at the inaugural of the National Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Farmers Welfare at Chintan Bhawan, Gangtok , the minister said Sikkim has taken steps for organic farming which can take a lead for others to learn. The minister said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi several steps have been taken for improving agriculture and also focusing on the welfare of farmers. The minister informed that while there were several crop insurance schemes running in the country that were fraught with multiple lacunae. The Hon’ble Prime Minister showed special interest in this and now the new scheme named Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojna has been launched. There will be freedom from crop-wise and district-wise rates under this scheme and there is a uniform premium rate of only 2% for rabi and 1.5% for kharif for farmers. There is no capping and therefore there will be no reduction in claim payments. For the first time, post harvest losses have also been included as well as extensive use of technology would be made for accurate estimation and speedy disbursal of claims.
Shri Radha Mohan Singh highlighted the Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) which has been initiated with an outlay of Rs. 50,000 crore for 5 years (2015-16 to 2019-2020) with Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) as designated Nodal Department for implementation of PMKSY. The scheme will be implemented in area development mode adopting ‘decentralized State level planning and projectised execution’ allowing States to draw up their own irrigation development plans. The Union Minister informed that in order to ensure the targeted annual growth of 4% in the agriculture and allied sectors, various schemes of the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare have been restructured into specific missions, schemes & programmes from the year 2014-15. Some new initiatives such as issue of Soil Health Cards to all farmers in all 14 crore farm holdings regularly in a cycle of 2 years, introduction of the Neem Coated Urea scheme, implementation of the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana for promoting organic farming in the country, efficiency and implementation of the National Agriculture Market for setting up of a common e-market platform, have been introduced for the long term benefit of the farmers.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Dr Sanjeev Kumar Balyan said the green revolution which increased production by manifold brought along side effects which we are now facing. The increase in death rate due to use of chemical fertilizer is turning people back to organic and sustainable farming. The Minister of State for Agriculture Shri Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya said the various schemes and programmes meant for the welfare of farmers should reach the intended targets and not remain only on paper. He expressed the hope the two day conference would work towards enhancing the productivity in the agriculture field and at the same time help the farmers.
The Chief Minister of Sikkim Shri Pawan Chamling expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister on complimenting the efforts of the State towards organic mission within and outside the country which further strengthened Sikkim’s commitment. He said that while the benefits of organic farming is widely known no states and country in the world before Sikkim has implemented it as statewide or mission wide policy solution to unsustainable and harmful technique of agriculture production. Shri Chamling informed that a historic declaration has made through a resolution in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly on February 24th 2003. Since then, Sikkim has marched ahead with an uncompromising vision of transforming the state into a total organic mission.
Agriculture and Horticulture Ministers of various states, besides representatives from NITI Aayog, NABARD, State government officials, ICAR, agriculture scientists and others are present in the two day conference organized by the Union Ministry of Agriculture. They have been divided in five technical groups to discuss important issues on agriculture and are to make a presentation before the Prime Minister .