National Conference on Kharif Crops 2020 held through video conference
The National Conference on Kharif Crops 2020 was organized so that the steps can be listed in the consultation with the states regarding the preparedness for Kharif cultivation amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
The National Conference on Kharif Crops 2020 chaired by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, took place through video conference on April 16.
In the conference, the Union minister mentioned that the state’s aim should be to achieve the Kharif target and doubling the farmer’s income. He also assured that the Union government will remove any obstacles faced by the states.
The National conference was attended by Additional Secretary (Agriculture), Special secretaries, Senior officers from DAC & FW, ICAR and officers of different state governments.
In a group of five, an interaction session was also organized with Principal secretaries of all the states and Agriculture Production Commissioners to share the challenges, achievements, and strategies to be adopted in states during the Kharif season.
The purpose of the National Conference on Kharif Crops 2020 was to discuss various forms of issues. It was organized so that the steps can be listed in the consultation with the states regarding the preparedness for Kharif cultivation amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
National Conference on Kharif Crops 2020: Key Highlights
• The Union Minister encouraged to meet the ongoing situation with a fighting spirit. He mentioned that PM Narendra Modi has ensured that ‘Goan, Garib aur Kisan’ (Village, Poor, and Farmers) must not suffer in the ongoing crisis.
• He urged the states that the two schemes- Soil Health card scheme and PM Fasal Bima Yojana, must be explained to the farmers thoroughly.
• There was also the mention of All India Agri Transport Call Centre and e-NAM that will ensure that the Agriculture sector is not affected during the lockdown.
• The Minister of State for Agriculture while addressing the conference, mentioned that the benefits of PM Fasal Bima Yojana must be explained to the farmers. The minister also highlighted that agriculture and horticulture are key elements of economic development in many states.
• MoS (Agriculture), Shri Kailash Choudhary, in his address appreciated the various technological advancements in agriculture as well as coordinated efforts of both State and Central government.
• Agriculture Minister in a detailed presentation on the strategies of crop management during Kharif season mentioned that the agriculture land has been reduced by 2.74 million hectares in the last two decades (1988-89 to2018-19). However, gross cropped are has been increased from 182.28 million hectares to 196.50 million hectares.
• Secretary (Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare) in his concluding statement mentioned that even though the country has become food surplus, we still need to accelerate agricultural production so that nutritional security reaches the rural areas as well. He also informed about various new initiatives taken by the ministry.
Food Grain Production in India:
• For the year 2020-2021, the target of food grain production has been fixed at 298.0 million tonnes.
• Against the higher food production target of 291.10 million tonnes in 2019-20, the produce of 292 million tonnes is predicted due to the enhancement of productivity and the coverage area.
• In 2018-2019 with recorded food grain production, there was a produce of 313.85 million metric tonnes of horticulture. It is from an area of about 25.49 million hectares. It counts for about 13 percent of the total world production of fruits.
• Due to the situation of climatic change, India has achieved record foodgrain production of about 285 million tonnes during 2018-19 which is expected to increase to 292 million tonnes during 2019-20.
Guidelines for States:
• During the season, states will have to ensure procurement at village/block levels as farmers will not be allowed to move out of the block due to lockdown.
• States have also been taking steps for Direct marketing/ purchasing of crop produce from farmers.
• In the guidelines given to the states, the relaxation has been given to the movement of trucks/vehicles loaded with agricultural products. It will ensure the availability of products all over the country.
• For advance planning and implementation of the National Food & Nutritional Security Mission (NF&NSM), the format of the State Action Plan (SAP) has been simplified and reduced to one page.
• SAP’s will be prepared by the states and will be submitted to GOI after getting approval from the competent authority.
• NF&NSM is a mandate for food production and is applied on projectised mode through State Agriculture Departments across the country.
• SAP’s will be examined in a week’s time and approval will be conveyed. There is a Project Monitoring team for at State and Central level for guiding in the formulation of SAP’s.
Various Agricultural Initiatives by the Government:
• Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)
• Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)
• Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
• e-NAM, online trading platform
• Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)
• Pradhan Mantri Kisan Pension Yojana (PM-KPY)
• PM-AASHA, scheme to ensure MSP (Minimum Support Price) to farmers.