A national level Agriculture Fair-cum-Exhibition was organised from 19th of March 2016 to 21st March 2016 by the 'Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers, Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture' and Farmers Welfare, Government of India jointly with Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, New Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Krishi Unnati Mela:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated 'Krishi Unnati Mela'- the National Level Agriculture Fair-cum-Exhibition in New Delhi. He also launched a mobile application for farmers - "Kisan Suvidha." This will provide information to farmers on subjects such as weather, market prices, seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and agriculture machinery.
Some pictures from the Krishi Unnati Mela. pic.twitter.com/GbCv90udSh— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 19, 2016
Prime Minister also visited 'Theme Pavilion', one of the major attractions at the Krishi Unnati Mela that showcased the entire scheme of things happening in the agriculture sector.
The pavilion had 8 zones viz. agro-climatic variety in India; water as an input to agriculture; Soil Health; Technology theme showcasing important Government schemes; Animal Husbandry and Fisheries; Agri-rejuvenation, Agri- Technology; and Horticulture.
At the event Prime Minister called for raising farm incomes through diversification in farming activities. He said that along with crop growing, farmers could opt for timber plantation along the edges of their fields; and also begin animal husbandry. He said diversification in farming activity will reduce the risk associated with agriculture.
Krishi Karman Awards:
On inauguration day, the prestigious National level 'Krishi Karman Awards' for the Best performing States of the year 2014-15 were presented to 8 State Governments, which were received by the Chief Minister of respective states.
Besides this, 3 states were also be given commendation awards for total food grains production. These awards are instituted to facilitate the best performing States in food grains production.
The objective of these awards is to encourage and motivate the states to enhance production and productivity of rice, wheat, pulses and coarse cereals and oilseeds.
Technical session on Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana:
The session was chaired by Secretary, department of Agriculture and Farmer's Welfare. He briefed those gathered that under the scheme an allocation of Rs. 5500 crore has been made in the Budget 2016-17 under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana which was Rs. 3185 crore in previous budget. There is an increase of about 73 % in this scheme.
He also informed the gathering about the following salient features of the scheme:
- This is the biggest financial support till date by the Central Government in Crop Insurance, while farmers will now have to pay the lowest premium till date for availing Crop Insurance.
- The balance premium burden will be borne by the Government - even if it is more than 90% of the total premium.
- For food-grains, pulses and oilseeds, there will be one season - one rate for the farmer. Different rates for different crops for different districts have been removed. For Kharif: maximum 2% and for Rabi: maximum 1.5% premium is to be paid by farmers.
- Farmers will get full financial security - there will be no capping on the premium rates and no reduction in the sum insured.
- For the first time, inundation has been included in the category of localised risks.
- For the first time, risks of post harvest losses due to cyclone and unseasonal rainfall have been included for coverage across the country.
- For the first time, mobile and satellite technology will be used for correct estimation and quick payment of claims to farmers.
- Under this scheme, provisions have been made for creation of mass awareness and publicity through media so that the number of insured farmers can be increased from present 20% to 50% in the next 2-3 years.
Technical sessions held:
Second day of the event saw various seminars being held. These seminars involved scientists interacting with the farmers. These seminars were webcasted so that many more farmers could benefit.
The themes for the seminars were:
1. Integrated Farming System and Government Schemes;
2. Agricultural Marketing and Government Schemes;
3. Agrarian challenges and participatory pathways;
4. National mission on agricultural extension and technology;
5. ICT initiatives in agriculture;
6. Processing and value addition and government schemes;
7. PM Krishi Sinchai Yojana;
8. Management of crop residues and government schemes; and
9. Interaction with innovative farmers.
Radha Mohan Singh at Krishi Unnati Mela 2016:
Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh stressed on organic farming and mentioned that organic farming has received considerable attention in India. He said that the aim of ministry is to form 10,000 clusters over the next three years and bring about 5 lakh acres of agricultural area under organic farming.
He added that,
"The government also intends to cover the certification costs and promote organic farming through the use of traditional resources."
"Nearly 25-30,000 hectares of land area out of the total 58,128 hectare of available cultivable land has been certified as organic in Sikkim."
He informed people that organic retail stores have been started by Government of Sikkim in New Delhi and plans are there to open more in major cities of India to market the organic products of Sikkim.
It is noteworthy that ministry is successfully highlighting the importance of soil health cars in overall agri production and food security of the country.