Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Current Affairs - 2020

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National Conference on Agriculture- Rabi Campaign 2019 held in New Delhi

National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign 2019 was organized on 20 September 2019 at NASC, Pusa in New Delhi. The conference was inaugurated by Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare. The Conference was also attended by senior officers from Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), DARE, Indian Council of Agriculture Reasearch (ICAR) & State Governments and Union Territories (UTs).

Key Deliberations of National Conference

Record production was achieved for food grains of about 285 million tonnes (MT) due to state governments for effective implementation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes.

The Centre-state cooperation has made possible an all time high production of rice 116 million tonnes (MT), wheat 102.5 million tonnes (MT), pulses and oilseeds.

Challenges:

The primary concern at present is of shortage of oilseeds. Therefore, to increase capacity and reduce import of edible oils, suggestions were made on launching of a separate mission.

Participants emphasized that the demand for fertilizers should be made after consultation with farmer organizations at District level. Also, Agriculture Departments of States should provide their fertilizer demands to Centre in time so that availability can be ensured to farmers at crucial stages of crops.

The emphasis was made on to take advantage of favorable weather conditions so that better production can be achieved in Rabi season. Moreover, State Agriculture Departments of Gujarat and Punjab were advised to remain vigilant for locust (a tropical grasshopper,) attack as it has been reported in Rajasthan.

Solutions:

The department of AC&FW has decided to distribute seed mini-kits for Rabi crops, pulses and oilseed with active involvement of State Agriculture Departments.

For Kisan Credit Card scheme major changes in terms of waiver of registration fee, minimum time for issuance of KCC, widening range of loans etc have been made for covering large number of farmers.

Also, inputs were received from State Agriculture Departments for modification in Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and scheme would be reviewed accordingly.

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National Conference on Crop Residue Management held in New Delhi

Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare inaugurated National Conference on Crop residue Management for farmers from states of Punjab, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The conference was held at New Delhi.

Key Highlights of Conference

Organiser: This conference was organized by Government of India in collaboration with ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) in order to address concerns of farmers and State Governments.

Participants: The conference was attended by more than 1000 farmers from 4 states of Punjab, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, who shared their innovative ideas, experiences and suggestions adopted for in-situ crop residue management.

MoS for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare requested further support and ideas from farmers to ensure zero burning in all villages and stressed that success stories from these States should be shared with all farmers.

Significance:  The conference would go a long way in mitigating the problem of stubble burning besides creating awareness among farming community.

Background

Agriculture Ministry has implemented a Central Sector Scheme for period 2018-19 to 2019-20 in States of Punjab, Haryana, NCT of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to support the efforts taken by respective state governments in addressing air pollution and to subsidize machinery required for in-situ management of crop residue through agriculture mechanization. The total outgo of Central funds is Rs.1151.80 crores

During the year 2018-19, State Governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have distributed 32,570 machines to farmers on individual ownership basis and established 7,960 Custom Hiring Centres.  As a result, as per the report of High Power Committee chaired by Dr. Nagesh Singh, the straw burning events in 2018 have reduced by 15% and 41% as compared to that in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

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