India’ new agriculture minister moots launching two mega scheme for increasing irrigation and insurance coverage for small farmers

India’ new agriculture minister moots launching two mega scheme for increasing irrigation and insurance coverage for small farmers

India’s new agri minister moots launching two mega scheme for increasing irrigation and insurance coverage for small farmers
Our bureau
New Delhi, May 29:

The Indian government on Wednesday mooted launching of two mega schemes focussing on creating additional irrigation potential and providing insurance cover for protecting small and marginal farmers’ income.

After assuming office, new agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said only 44% of the cultivable land in the country has irrigation facilities which would be increased through a country wide programme – Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sinchayee Yojana

“We will also start work on nation-wide roll out of Krishi Amdani Bima Yojana where small farmers would protected against crop losses,” Singh told reporters.

He said the insurance scheme will be launched after working out the average income of small and marginal farmers in the last 5-7 years and the Centre will bear the burden of premium for insurance for the small farmers.

“Farmers will take interest in agriculture only when their investment is guaranteed,” Singh noted. He declined to give any frame for rolling out of two mega schemes.

As part of the priority area, the new agriculture minister who succeeds Sharad Pawar after ten years of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule, stressed on conserving the indigenous breed of cows so that milk production is sustained.

On providing Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers, Singh said that the government will soon take a decision on the proposal on fixing the MSP for the kharif crops.

The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Practices earlier had recommended moderate increase of 1-5% in minimum support prices (MSP) of agricultural commodities for the forthcoming Kharif season 2014-15.

The MSP for paddy has been recommended an increase in the range of 3-5%. The new minister may approve paddy MSP around Rs 1350-1380 per quintal as against Rs 1310 per quintal fixed last year.

The new minister also promised to review the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee Act(APMC) and co-operative laws. On measures on curbing price rise, Singh said the earlier National Democratic Alliance government had kept prices under control during its six-year rule between 1998-2004.