Farmers should be made capable: Thorat

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Nashik, March 1 (UNI) Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Balasaheb Thorat today stressed the need to make farmers capable to face the various challenges and institutions like Indian Chamber of Agriculture (ICA) have an important role to play in this endeavour.

''Farmers are facing various problems today. Recently, new problems have popped up adding to the existing ones. We have to increase the produtivity, quality of our agricultural product and agricultural growth rate. Alongwith some natural problems, we are also facing problems of globalisation and new technologies from other countries. To survive, these farmers should be made capable and institutions like ICA will have to play an important role in this,'' Thorat said while addressing ICA's inauguration ceremony here.

The agriculture growth rate has decreased considerably, even in states like Punjab despite 95 per cent irrigation, he pointed out.

''Moreover, we are facing challenges of globalisation, increase in production by other countries due to the use of modern agricultural techniques. Though the loan waiver declared yesterday is good, it will not solve all these problems. They need guidance which can be provided by institutions like ICA'', the Minister added.

President of ICA Shivnath Borse said ''ICA is based on institutions such as the MACCIA, which works for its respective sector. ICA will work for farmers and make efforts to solve their problems. It will provide information of various schemes to farmers, and help them in finding solutions to various issue such as project marketing. For this, service providing centres will be established by ICA in all the districts of the state,'' Mr Borse ensured.

ICA will establish Kisan Care Centres and Helpline for indebt farmers across the state, in an year's time. The first Kisan Care Centres and helpline will start in May 2008 at Nashik district, he informed.

The ICA policy report 'Kisan India' and a booklet was released at the hands of Mumbai High Court Ex-Chief Justice B G Kolse Patil, on the occasion.

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