Stressing on the linkage between agriculture and digital technology, scientific research and knowledge, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Monday that the central and state governments must work together in order to give a boost to the economy.
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He was speaking at the Chief Ministers’ conference on initiatives and schemes of the ministry
Regarding digital agriculture, Tomar urged all States to study the Karnataka Model presented during the conference. He asked them to create a database for respective states using the federated farmer database prepared by the Centre to allow linkage to state land record database. The ministry has created a database of 5.5 crore farmers, which will be increased to 8 crores by December with the help of state governments, Tomar said.
A national farmer database is being created by taking data from existing schemes like PM-KISAN, soil health card, and PM Fasal Bima Yojana.
The database will have connectivity to state land records database.
The minister said that with the establishment of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, FPOs, PACS, Mandis, and start-ups will get loans easily. Speaking on the Oil Palm Mission, Tomar said the ICAR has conducted a study on the areas in which cultivation can be expanded.
Commerce, Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal said with an increase in agriculture exports, India is emerging as a trusted export partner and there is further scope for improvement of agri-exports. The infrastructure needs to be strengthened for storage and warehousing, he also emphasised.
The objectives of the conference were to highlight salient features of Aatmanirbhar Krishi and enable States to enhance farmers’ income and share innovative initiatives undertaken by them, according to an official statement.
The discussion centered on the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund set up to drive infrastructure investment. The recent modifications in the scheme were explained. The need to make India self-reliant in edible oils and palms was stressed and the role of the states was discussed along with digital agriculture and use of emerging technology for smart agriculture, it added.