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    For more focus, restructure and reduce agriculture schemes: Ministry

    Synopsis

    Agri ministry has proposed reduction in welfare schemes after restructuring and rationalising them. Ministry aims to have lesser but more focused schemes.

    NEW DELHI: The agriculture ministry has proposed reduction in welfare schemes after restructuring and rationalising them. The ministry aims to have lesser but more focused schemes.

    There are 53-odd schemes run by the agriculture ministry. While a few of them are still important, others have outlived their utility. Krishi Bhawan has been persuading the Planning Commission to prioritise them to facilitate a more balanced and riveted attention.

    The ministry wants the government to retain the 'Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana' (RKVY) - the central assistance scheme launched during 2007-08 to motivate states to take more steps to improve agriculture. Under the plan, states are allotted 100% grants and it is the state's chief secretary who decides the mechanism of disbursement, depending upon the relative importance of the schemes.

    Among the national priority areas, the ministry wants the Centre to take up the Food Security Mission, particularly in the production of pulse, wheat, rice and millet; Oilseed and Oilpalm Missions; National Horticulture Mission; National Mission on Farm Mechanisation; Mission on Extension; and National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture.

    The move to restructure schemes has found its way into the budgetary proposals agriculture ministry sent to the finance ministry. "The idea is to have a more-focused attention,'' observed Union agriculture secretary PK Basu. The ministry wants the Centre to allocate more funds for its ongoing programme to extend the benefits of green revolution to eastern India. In the last budget, 400 crore was set aside for the purpose.

    With farmers in Vidarbha still reeling under the impact of lack of funds and infrastructure, the agriculture ministry, Basu told ET, wants the government to announce a special package for cotton-growers of eight districts. The package would extend to irrigation and land-related projects such as watershed development, providing irrigation sources through farm ponds and construction of check dams.

    To build storage facilities for grain, fruits and vegetables, and to prevent their wastage, the ministry has advocated energising the National Centre for Cold Chain Development. After the successful run of the pilot project on National Horti Train, a specially-created temperature-maintained, 1,600-MT capacity train, which transported bananas from Bhusawal in Maharashtra to New Delhi and Agra, the ministry wants to run a similar facility from the north-east to the mainland.
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    2 Comments on this Story

    e s serma3297 days ago
    I think that organic farming also should be taken up as a priority area and should create awareness among village farmers and the dangers of high dosage of fertilisers. A documentary also can be taken up over the issue and should drill the minds of farmers. Also they can get slightly higher realisation on their produce. In a way this will kill the two birds with one shot.Reducing the subsidy on fertilisers and higher realisation to farmers along with mitigating the health hazard to the people.
    Jayeshkumar3298 days ago
    If Schemes are Like Tonic or Medicine as Boost for any deficiency or ills, Forgetting to switch off results in Continuing Dependencies on Medicine for Eternity. ..and Why any Teaser Loans are Better, because it automatically Expires after the desired effect...perfectly Bio-degradable.
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