Agriculture Minister Dr. Ram Lal Markanda said that with this Union Budget the target fixed by Prime Minister for doubling the farmers’ income would definitely be achieved by the State Government by 2022. He said that in Himachal Pradesh agriculture is the main occupation of 90 percent of rural population and plays an important role in the economy of the State. It provides direct employment to 62 percent of main working population. He said that agriculture and allied sectors accounts for nearly nine percent of the total State domestic product. The 16 action points agriculture programme announced by the Finance Minister would definitely be helpful for the farmers of the State.
Under PM- KUSUM scheme, the government would promote 20 lakhs farmers for setting up solar pumps for removing their dependence on diesel and kerosene. State Government has already started Saur Sinchai Yojna with a view to provide assured irrigation to crops and to enhance the production and productivity. This will definitely helpful to the Farmers of the State.
He said that with this budget, government would encourage balanced use of all kinds of fertilizers including the traditional organic and other innovative fertilizers. He said that Himachal Pradesh government has already started Prakritik Kheti Khushal Kisaan Yojna from the year 2018-19 to promote natural farming in the State. During next financial year, two lakhs farmers would be covered under this scheme.
Minister said that to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of milk, meat and fish, the Indian Railways will set up a ‘Kisan Rail’ – through PPP arrangements. He said that this would definitely help the farmers to increase their income.
He said that the integrated farming systems in rain-fed areas would be expanded. Multi-tier cropping, bee-keeping, solar pumps, solar energy production in non-cropping season would be added. Zero-Budget Natural Farming would also be included.
Dr. Markanda said that the NABARD re-finance scheme would be further expanded. Agriculture credit target for the year 2020-21 has been set at 15 lakh crore. All eligible beneficiaries of PM-KISAN would be covered under the KCC scheme.
He said that Rs. 1.60 lakh crore has been allocated for the year 2020-21, for agriculture, irrigation and allied activities would also be beneficial for Himachal Pradesh along with the other states.