Union Minister meets Agricultural Production Commissioners and Principal Secretaries
Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh has taken a review meeting today here with Agricultural Production Commissioners and Principal Secretaries of all State Governments. Shri Singh reviewed five major issues namely:
1. Soil Health Card
2. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (Organic Farming)
3. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY)
4. National Agricultural Market and
5. Situation of Drought in the States
In the review meeting it was found that in Soil Health Card, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are lagging behind. Their officials were directed to activate the state agriculture machinery to collect samples and provide Soil Health Card to farmers in an accelerated manner. Madhya Pradesh requested that GOIâ€™s established rate of Rs. 190 should be declared as nominative and State Governments should give flexibility to liberalise this amount. The State Government of Karnataka has started no work for in this scheme and has been directed to do so immediately. Shri Singh reiterated that the scheme has to be executed by the State Governments and its agriculture machinery and Institutions like KVKâ€™s and State Agriculture Universities are supplementary to the efforts of the State Governments.
Shri Singh asked the State Governments Officials about their preparations to celebrate World Soil Day on 5th December, 2015. Minister urged all the States to organise programmes at State, District, Block and Village level as well as KVKs and ICAR institutes on 5th December, 2015 in which farmers would be provided Soil Health Cards and knowledge about the importance of Soil Health Card. Shri Singh suggested States to invite public representatives viz Chief Minister, Centre & State Ministers, MPâ€™s and MLA to attend these programmes. States like Rajasthan, Gujarat, U.P., Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya informed the Minister about the preparations they have made in this regard.
In PMKSY, Minister reviewed the financial and physical achievements made by States. States like Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have done well in terms of achieving physical and financial progress under the Scheme. Himachal Pradesh and North Eastern States have not taken the Central share in view of the 50:50 funding pattern. They were told that the new funding pattern it has been modified to 60:40 for States and 90:10 for the North Eastern States. Hence, they should take the Central share immediately. West Bengal has unspent balance since last four years. Minister directed that officials from our ministry should visit these States at the earliest and make sure that they are able to avail the benefits of the scheme. Shri Singh urged all North Eastern States to submit their proposal in respect of new funding pattern of 90:10 today itself. Minister urged all States to spend money under this Scheme in an accelerated manner and submit their utilization certificates to obtain the second instalment.
Secretary Water Resources also participated for PMKSY component under Water Resources Ministry and asked all the States to coordinate between agriculture and irrigation departments. Department of Land Resources and the Ministry of Rural Development also participated in the meeting which looks after the watershed component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY). Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister directed that State Governments should be written with respect to streamlining the release of funds citing examples of states whether there has been delay in release of funds.
Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (Organic Farming) was also reviewed, States were asked to form clusters and promote organic farming good work has been done by Madhya Pradesh which formed 880 clusters. Several discussions have been also with respect to minimum numbers of farmers and area of land holdings to form the clusters.
Under National Agriculture Market, proposals have been received from the States Governments of Chhatisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand. The proposal of Gujarat has been recently sanctioned. Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana were asked about the difficulty in sending their proposals.
With respect to drought condition, discussions were held with the States. Karnataka has been recently sanctioned Rs. 1540 Crore. For Chhatisgarh, Agriculture Ministery has recommended Rs. 1387 Crore to Home Ministry. Presently, Central Teams are visiting Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Memorandum has been received from UP and Orissa and Teams are being dispatched immediately. Andhra Pradesh were urged by Agriculture Minister to send its memorandum as drought has been declared by the State. Further, other States like Bihar, Jharkhand, Telangana affected by drought were also asked to submit their memorandum urgently.