Cabinet approves doubling of Government guarantee from Rs 9,500 crore to Rs.19,000 crore for procurements of pulses and oilseeds at MSP under Price Support Scheme by NAFED

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the regularization and extension of Govt. Guarantee provided to lender Bank for providing credit limit to National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) Rs.19,000 crore from earlier Rs.9,500 crore for undertaking procurement operation of pulses and oilseeds under Price Support Scheme (PSS) and to Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) for Rs. 45 crore for meeting their existing liability and settlement of extant claims. These Government Guarantees are provided for a period of five years i.e. till 2021-22 by Govt. of India and with waiver of 1% Government Guarantee fee.

As the market price of almost all pulses and oilseeds are ruling below Minimum Support Price (MSP) as notified by Govt. of India, provision of Govt. Guarantee will help in protecting the farmers producing these commodities from making distress sales during the peak arrival period and to provide remunerative prices with a view to encourage higher investment and production and also to safeguard the interest of consumer by making available supplies at reasonable price with low cost of intermediation.

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare congratulates Indian Council of Agricultural Research for completing 88 glorious years

Entire focus is on farmers' welfare and Budget 2018 reiterates emphasis on holistic development of agriculture sector: Shri Radha Mohan Singh

Several policy initiatives in the last three years resulted in record food grain production in the current year: Union Agriculture Minister

Very proud of our peasant brothers and scientists for having taken India to the top slot in Horticulture: Shri Singh

The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh today addressed the 89th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) society at National Agricultural Science Complex (NASC) in Pusa, New Delhi. Shri Singh congratulated ICAR for completing 88 glorious years and lauded the institution for having braved the odds despite challenging circumstances to achieve notable success in improving agriculture system and enhancing agriculture production and productivity in the country thereby increasing income of the farmers, especially the small and marginal farmers.

The minister said that ICAR has taken important steps towards fulfilling Prime Minister's vision of doubling farmer's income by 2022. The ICAR has also done notable work in the field of developing new technologies, integrated farming systems, institution building, human resource, diversification in agriculture, creating new opportunities and developing new sources of information. The ICAR is committed to making Indian agriculture more sustainable and beneficial.

Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare; Shri Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare and Panchayati Raj and Smt. Krishna Raj, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare; Shri Mahadev Jagannath Jankar, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries Development, Maharashtra; Shri Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, Minister of Agriculture and Horticulture, Telangana; Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha); Shri Surya Pratap Shahi, Minister of Agriculture, Uttar Pradesh; Dr. Ram Lal Markanda, Minister of Agriculture, Himachal Pradesh; Shri Prem Kumar, Minister of Agriculture and Horticulture, Bihar; Shri Ghulam Nabi Lone, Minister for Agriculture Production, Jammu & Kashmir; Shri Abdul Ghani Kohli, Minister for Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries, Jammu & Kashmir; Shri Udumalai Radhakrishnan, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Tamil Nadu and Shri Thalavai Sundaram, Special Representative, Govt. of Tamil Nadu were also present at the occasion.

Shri Singh said that the government is committed in its effort to double farmer's income by 2022 and is working for the betterment of the sector and farmers. He said his entire focus is on farmers' welfare and Budget 2018 reiterates the government's emphasis on holistic development of agriculture sector. For the first time in this budget, the rural outlay has increased by 30%.

Agriculture minister asserted that several policy initiatives of the government in the last three years have resulted in record production of food grains in the country in the current year. In 2017-18, production of food grain was 275.68 million tones as compared to 265.04 million tonnes in 2013-14, showing a significant rise of 10.64 million tonnes (or about 4 percent). The food grain production in the current year is, in fact, 19 million tonnes more than the average food grain production between 2011-12 and 2015-16.

The Minister also expressed happiness over record production in horticulture in 2016-17 at 305 million tonnes, which is 4.8% more than the previous year. The fruit production has crossed 93 million tonnes and vegetable production has reached 178 million tonnes. He applauded the special contribution of ICAR in achieving this milestone and said that he is very proud of his peasant brothers and scientists for having taken India to the top slot in horticulture.

Shri Singh said the ICAR has developed 45 IFS by including 15 agro-climatic zones to help small and marginal farmers to tide over the problems associated with climate change. This model will be replicated and taken forward through agricultural science centers spread across the country. Besides this, ICAR has also developed 623 District Level contingency schemes, which were certified and skill development programs for 40.9 lakh farmers were organized.

In order to assist the Government's "Soil Health Card" initiative, minilabs were developed for soil testing. ICAR through its agriculture science centres spread across the country have displayed climate friendly techniques in 29 States. A total of 42 biological agricultural technologies were developed by ICAR which were tested and further improved. ICAR has also developed 42 organic farming techniques, which were tested and are being further improved.

In order to take scientific knowledge to the farmers, the Government has started a program called 'Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav, in which five villages are adopted by a group of four scientists who impart agricultural consultation and information to farmers. A total of 1226 teams have been formed this year from a pool of 4774 scientists sourced from ICAR and state agriculture universities. This program has already benefitted 9,76,033 farmers and 5.346 villages.

The government, for the benefit of farmers, has initiated several programs like agriculture expansion, Sankalp Se Siddhi, 'Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav, infrastructure development, agriculture education, agricultural research, international cooperation and technology transfer among others.

Union Agriculture Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh launches six new user friendly features of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Platform

e-NAM integrates Central Farmer Database to increase the efficiency and reduce queue time

The Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh today launched six new features of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Platform to make it more users friendly.Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture was also present at the event. e-NAM is one of the major and important flagship schemes of the Government of India which is being implemented by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare with the objective of providing competitive and remunerative price to farmers for their produce through online competitive bidding process.

Addressing the gathering, Shri Singh said that it is the dream of Hon'ble Prime Minister, Shri NarendraModi to double farmers' income by 2022 and that farmers should become part of mainstream development. He said that the objective was to bring more transparency and competition and provide remunerative prices to farmers. Keeping in view the need of making marketing of commodities easier for farmers, e-NAM was envisioned and launched in 21 Mandis on 14th April 2016 which has now reached 479 Mandis across 14 states and 1 Union Territory. e-NAM website is now available in eight different languages (Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Odia) while the live trading facility is available in six different language (Hindi, English, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi & Telugu).

The Minister said that the agriculture ministry is now strengthening e-NAM platform with new and user-friendly features by rolling out MIS Dashboard for better analysis, BHIM payment facility by traders, mobile payment facility by traders, enhanced features on Mobile App such as gate entry and payment through mobile, integration of farmer's database, eLearning module in e-NAM website etc.

1) e-NAM Mobile App:

Mobile app is being enhanced in multi-dimension so that the entire operation for farmers and traders can be user friendly. Mobile app has been made multilingual. Now the Mandi operators can carry out one of the critical operation of Gate Entry directly from e-NAM Mobile App. This will also facilitate the farmers to do advance Gate Entry on Mobile app which in turn will reduce a lot of time for farmers coming in the Mandi and will bring huge efficiency and facilitate smooth arrival recording at the Gate. A new feature has been introduced for farmers where they can see the progress of their lot being traded and also real time bidding progress of price will be visible to farmers on Mobile App.

During the trade, facility of viewing the assaying certificate is made available to traders on the mobile app. Now, online payment by trader (buyer) can also be done from e-NAM Mobile App through debit card and net banking. This will help buyers to transfer the payment directly through the App and make it easier for traders in online payment to farmers. Also, SMS alert to farmer on receiving payment in their bank account will be sent thereby helping farmers in getting information of payment receipt.

2) BHIM payment facility:

Currently e-NAM portal facilitates direct online payment to farmers through RTGS/NEFT, Debit Card and Internet Banking. Facilitation of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) through BHIM is another milestone in easing out payment to farmers which will also reduce the payment realization time from buyers' account to the pool account and in turn disbursal to farmers.

3) New and improved Website with eLearning Module:

A new website has been developed with improved and more informative features like live status of markets of e-NAM based on gate entry, latest information on events, dynamic training calendar etc. Also e-Learning module in Hindi language has been designed and incorporated in the website so that various stake holders can learn online about how to operate the system and continuously get trained on the system at their convenience. Currently the module is available in Hindi.

4) MIS Dashboard:

MIS Dashboard based on Business intelligence will provide a greater insight into the performance of each Mandi in terms of arrival and trade. This will help the Mandi Board officials and APMC Secretary to compare the performance of each Mandi on daily, weekly, monthly/quarterly and Year-on-Year Basis. This will also enable officials and Mandi Secretary in doing actual trade analysis from commodity level to State level operation. This will also be beneficial for the Mandi Board and Mandi Secretary in planning and coordinating their operation post historical analysis.

5) Grievance Redressal Management System for Mandi Secretaries:

This system will help Mandi Secretary to raise technology issues related to portal/ software and its operation and also track the status of redressal of their query online.

6) Integration with Farmer Database:

e-NAM has been integrated with Central Farmer Database so that the registration process becomes easier and Identification of farmers can be done easily on arrival at the Mandi Gate which will increase the efficiency and reduce queue time. This will help in managing the load at the Gate more efficiently during peak time in Rabi and Kharif and reduce waiting time for farmers at the entry gate.

Rabi Crops Sowing Crosses 632 Lakh Hactare

As per preliminary reports received from the States, the total area sown under Rabi crops as on 2nd February 2018 stands at 632.34 lakh hectares as compared to 641.72 lakh hectare this time in 2017.

Wheat has been sown/transplanted in 300.70 lakh hectares, rice in 28.61 lakh hectares, pulses in 166.47 lakh hectares, coarse cereals in 56.27 lakh hectares and area sown under oilseeds is 80.29 lakh hectares.

The area sown so far and that sown during last year this time is as follows:

Crop Area sown in 2017-18 (Lakh hectare) Area sown in 2016-17 (Lakh hectare)
Wheat 300.70 317.82
Rice 28.61 24.21
Pulses 166.47 158.02
Coarse Cereals 56.27 57.23
Oilseeds 80.29 84.44
Total 632.34 641.72

Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh addresses inaugural session of National Conference ''Agriculture 2022 - Doubling Farmers' Income''

Government ensuring availability of sufficient funds for each component of Seven-Point' Strategy devised for doubling farmers' income: Agriculture Minister

Government keen on making agriculture policies and programs 'income centric' instead of 'production-oriented' - Shri Radha Mohan Singh

The government is working towards increasing farmers' income and that's the reason that the budget for Agriculture has been increased from Rs.51,576 crore in 2017-18 to Rs.58,080 crore for the year 2018-19 while ensuring sufficient funds for each component of the Seven-Point' Strategy devised for doubling farmers' income. This was stated by Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh while addressing the National Conference ''Agriculture 2022 - Doubling Farmers' Income''.

The inaugural session of the summit was attended by the Governor of Himachal Pradesh Shri Acharya Devvrat; NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Shri Rajiv Kumar; Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Farmers' Welfare & Panchayati Raj Shri Parshottam Rupala; Minister of State Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat; Minister of State Smt. Krishna Raj; and Shri S.K. Pattanayak, Secretary, Department of Agriculture. Organized at the NASC Complex at Pusa in New Delhi, the summit is being attended by senior officials from the Central and State Governments, scientists, economists, trade industry, professional associations, representatives of corporate and private sector companies & farmers, NGOs and academics.

Shri Radha Mohan Singh said the apart from keeping the food and agricultural products warehouses well-stocked, the Government is keen to see farmers prosper and is working diligently to achieve the same. He further said that in this budget, an announcement of Rs. 2000 crore for Agri Market Development Fund has been made, which shows the importance of the retail market in agriculture marketing. These markets have been called as GRAM (Gramin Retail Agriculture Market). Through these markets infrastructure of 22,000 Rural Haats and 585 APMC markets will be developed.

The Minister said that as promised by the Hon'ble Prime Minister, Government had started forming a committee in April 2016 to implement a comprehensive plan to double the income of farmers. The Committee included senior economists, Joint Secretaries of food processing, crop, Animal Husbandry and Dairy and Policy Departments; Agricultural Advisor to NITI Aayog and many other non-official members. The Government is keen to make agriculture policies and programs 'income centric' instead of 'production-oriented'.

To achieve this ambitious objective, as suggested by Hon'ble Prime Minister, the emphasis is on adopting a multi-dimensional seven-point' strategy, which includes:

Emphasis on irrigation along with end to end solution on creation of resources for 'More crop per drop'.

'Provision of quality seeds and nutrients according to the soil quality of each farm.

Large investments in warehouses and cold chains to prevent Post-harvest losses.

Promotion of value addition through food processing.

Implementation of National Agricultural Markets and e-platforms (e-NAM) to eliminate shortcomings of all the 585 centers.

To mitigate the risk, introduction of crop insurance scheme at a lower cost.

Promotion of allied activities such as Dairy-Animal husbandry, Poultry, Bee-keeping, Horticulture, and Fisheries.

The Agriculture Minister stated that in a huge country like India with wide economic disparities, it is a challenge to ensure the physical and economic access to the basic good to far-flung remote areas. But during 2014-15, the government's favorable policies, effective plans, and implementations have yielded satisfactory results. He further said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the government has started developing 'Climate Smart Agriculture' through a national-level project under which farmers are being made aware and capable of adopting climate-friendly farming techniques.

Salient features of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Budget 2018-19

The budget of 2018 clearly reflects the commitment of the government towards agriculture and farmers welfare as well as Prime Minister's pledge to double farmers income by 2022. The budgetary allocation of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry was Rs. 51,576 crore for the year 2017-18 which has been increased to Rs. 58,080 crore for this year. It is worth noting that if we compare budgetary allocation during Congress regime from the year 2009 to 2014 which was Rs. 1,21,082 crore has been increased to Rs. 2,11,694 crore for the 5 years of the Modi Government that is 2014-19. This is an increase of 74.5%.

The 5 year comparative sectoral budgetary allocation is as follows:

Sector Budgetary Allocation (in crore) Increase in %
2009-14 2014-19
Crop Insurance 6,182 33,162 436%
Micro Irrigation 3,193 12,711 298%
Soil Health Management 162 1,573 871%
Agricultural Mechanization 254 2,408 846%
Sub-Mission on Agricultural Extension 3,163 4,046 28%
Agricultural Marketing 2,666 6,150 131%
Rain fed Area Development 189 1,322 700%
Dairy Development 8,114 10,725 32%
Blue Revolution 1,772 2,913 64%
Agricultural Education, Research and Extension 12,252 13,748 12%

Apart from budgetary allocation:

" Micro irrigation fund Rs. 5,000 crore.

" Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) Rs. 10,881 crore.

" Agri Market Infrastructure Fund - Rs. 2,000 crore.

Fishery & Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund + Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund --- Total Rs. 10,000 crore.

On one hand, our government is working towards increasing production and productivity of various agricultural crops, on the other hand, the government is focusing efforts to ensure that the farmers get right value of their produce. Under the guidance of Hon'ble Prime Minister, two important announcements have been made to achieve this.

a) Minimum Support Price (MSP) for various agricultural crops will be 1.5 times more than the input cost. With this decision, Modi Government has fulfilled the most important promise made in its manifesto.

b) Our government has reiterated time and again that we merely don't want to declare MSP but also want to ensure that farmers receive the benefit of MSP. Modi Government has made unprecedented progress in the procurement of pulses, oilseeds and crops in the last 4 years. Going further in this direction, budget also declares that NITI Aayog will develop a mechanism in coordination with Centre and State Governments to ensure that farmers get the MSP for their produce.

c) Government also proposes to make an institutional mechanism for export and import policy in the long run. We propose to achieve an ambitious export target of US $100 billion by the year 2022-23. For this, modern testing facilities would be set up in all mega food parks.

d) The budget also proposes an institutional mechanism for price and demand forecasting. With this, farmers will be able to take timely decisions about which crop and in how much quantity it would be profitable.

This Budget embarks to bring new reforms in agriculture markets with the objective to provide right value of the yields to the farmers. In this budget, an announcement of Rs. 2000 crore for Agri Market Development Fund has been made which shows the importance of retail market in the sector of agriculture marketing. These markets have been called as GRAM (Gramin Retail Agriculture Market). Through these markets infrastructure of 22,000 Rural Haats and 585 AMC markets will be developed.

Tomatoes, Onions, Potatoes are consumed throughout the year in the entire country. During the last 70 years, farmers and consumers have incurred loses. For the first time, a new initiative titled "Operation Green" has been taken so that farmers can get right price and products are also available to the consumers at suitable prices. For this purpose, a provision of Rs. 500 crore has been made.

To get high growth rate in agriculture sector, capital investment needs to be increased. By continuing the reforms made in the last 2 budgetary years, a provision of Rs. 10,000 crore has been made in this budget for Fisheries and Aquacultures Infrastructure Development Fund and Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund. Through this, State Governments, Cooperatives and individual investors will get loans at cheap rates for fisheries and animal husbandry infrastructure. This will help to speeden the pace of construction of fish landing centres, cold storages, ice plants, transport facilities, processing units and hatcheries etc.

Providing timely loan to the farmers is also very important. For this, agriculture credit which was Rs. 10 lakh crores during last year has been increased to Rs. 11 lakh crore this year.

This credit will also be made available to those farmers who are engaged with in animal husbandry and fisheries.

With a view to increase agriculture and non-agricultural activities, this budget proposes to reinvigorate National Bamboo Mission with a fund of Rs. 1290 crore. This will not only help in the establishment of small industries but will create new employments opportunities.

All FPOs which include farmer producer companies also have been exempted from income tax in the budget. Small and Marginal Farmers FPOs/FPCs will be benefitted through this initiative. On the other hand, the problem of small holdings and partition will also be addressed.

A declaration of Model Land Licence Cultivator Act has also been made in this budget through which farmers doing farming on rent and sharing basis will also get the benefit of institutional loan arrangements. For this, NITI AYOG will take necessary action with the help of state governments.

In our country, resilient farming climate region for medicinal and aromatic plants farming is also done. A decision to promote such farming has been made in this budget. This will help not only the farmers but also promote small and marginal industries. A provision of Rs. 200 crore has been made in the budget for this purpose.

Declaration of Organic Farming has also been made in this budget at a large scale. For successful implementation of this, cluster based farming will be promoted and will be linked with the markets. North East and hilly states will get benefit of this scheme.

For district wise horticultural crop, cluster based farming will be promoted. For this purpose, coordination between Food Processing Ministry and Commerce Ministry will be done.

Special scheme to support management of crop residue to tackle pollution in Delhi NCR region will be brought.