Small farmers need tool bank: Radha Mohan Singh

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New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) Though the Centre has launched various farmers-oriented schemes, there are many more urgent steps yet to be taken including setting up tool banks, union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh has said.

There is huge number of farmers who have to manage things with small farming tools due to their inability to purchase bigger ones, the minister told IANS; for them the tool banks could prove quite helpful in catering to such needs.

Funding for the agriculture sector has been raised in the 2016-17 budget. Giving importance to farmers, significant focus has been laid on various schemes like “Fasal Bima Yojna”, “Krishi Sinchai Yojna” and “Mrida Swasthaya Card”.

Singh said the latest budget has shown the government’s determination to bring improvements in the agriculture sector by giving priority to this sector.

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He said the funds allocated for agriculture have been significantly raised with the aim to achieve an agriculture growth rate of four percent.

Singh said the government aims to double farmers’ income in five years. A council has been set up to deal with climate change. It will tackle various issues related to it including modern agriculture, soil health, good quality seeds and irrigation management.

The Krishi Sinchai Yojna is being included in Mission Code. He said the soil health scheme for the farmers is proving to be quite a success. The soil health card holds big significance as it aims to increase productivity.

“Considering the losses suffered by farmers due to bad weather, floods and other reasons, the Fasal Bima Yojna has been presented. By March-end, about 14 crore farmers will get linked to it.

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He also said women have played a vital role in the development of dairying in the agriculture sector. National Dairy Vikas Board’s president Amrita Patel has done a commendable job, he added.

He also told IANS that there is a need for improving the breed of cows for which adequate provision of funds has been made in the budget. There is a need to open a national breeding centre on a priority basis. In the coming five years, various schemes will be introduced to raise demand for cows of domestic breed.

The minister also said as per Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme, the farmers will have to pay lesser premium in comparison to all previous schemes.

(Ritu Tomar can be contacted at [email protected])

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