September 29, 2020

Promise of kharif sops

Patna: Farmers can look forward to get one-and-a-half times of their input cost for kharif crops, agriculture minister Prem Kumar announced here on Wednesday.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced in this year’s budget that provision has been made for providing farmers one-and-a-half times of their input cost. We assure that by the time farmers reap their kharif crop, they will get the benefit,” Prem said at a news meet.

He did not, however, give much weight to a query on rising prices of diesel which in turn increases the input cost. Prem said farmers would get the price of their produce on the basis of the input cost so the question had no relevance.

“While calculating the input cost we will take into account the cost of seeds, irrigation, human resources, and all other related things. Then a figure would be arrived at about the per-acre input cost on the basis of which prices would be decided,” said the agriculture minister.

Replying to a query about farmers’ agitation in Mokama for not getting the proper price for pulses, he said: “At present the state government does not procure pulses but we are looking into ways to provide relief to the farmers by doing something on procurement. But it will take some time, as before procuring any foodgrain arrangements need to be made for proper storage.”

Prem added that for the first time, the government had provided 153.01 quintal of base seeds to farmers for preparing pulse seeds. Encouragement money at the rate of Rs 2,500 per quintal had also been provided, he said, adding: “Once farmers produced the pulse seeds, it was purchased by the Bihar Agriculture University in Sabour at the rate of Rs 5,000 per quintal.”

The minister also shared data on help provided by the Centre to the agriculture sector in the four years of the Narendra Modi government.

Among the steps taken by the Centre, Prem said were according central university status to Rajendra Agriculture University, Pusa; approval to open horticulture and forestry college, agriculture college, agriculture university, and setting up of integrated research centre, opening of National Banana Research Centre in Vaishali; setting up jaggery-processing plant in East Champaran district; opening fisheries research centre; providing Rs 1986.67 crore fund to the agriculture sector in the past four years; and setting up water harvesting bodies and irrigation facilities.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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