The Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has said that cluster based agriculture and effective system of certification of organic produces are essential for augmenting the income of farmers. He was addressing state credit seminar- 2022-21 organised by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) here on Monday.
He said that efforts should be made to develop irrigation facility in the mountainous areas and for it water reservoirs should be developed. He said that Uttarakhand is a state with vast geographical differences and the agriculture in mountainous areas is mostly rain dependent. “The lift based irrigation is costly so construction of reservoirs is needed to supply gravity based water for irrigation and drinking purposes. These reservoirs would also help in revival of rivers. The state government is developing reservoirs in Pithoragarh, Champawat, Almora, Pauri, Chamoli and Dehradun districts. The NABARD should come forward for funding of these reservoirs’’ he said. Elaborating on the state government’s effort to increase the income of farmers, CM said that the interest free loans of Rs Rs 1 lakh to farmers and Rs 5 lakh to farmer groups are being provided.
Emphasising on the value addition of the farm products, the CM said that there is a global demand for the naturally occurring fibres of Kandali (Stinging nettle) and industrial hemp and the aromatic plants have a good potential in state. He said that the agriculture and associated products of Uttarakhand are naturally organic and the need is to make arrangement for their certification. The Agriculture minister Subodh Uniyal said that the Uttarakhand government has taken many initiatives in agriculture and in last two years the state received six awards in the field. He said that the income of the farmers can be increased with adopting integrated agriculture and by bringing allied sector with agriculture. He said that short, medium and long term loans are needed to be provided for horticulture. Uniyal also stressed on the need for fencing of farms to protect them from wild animals and repair of canals. The minister said that arrangement of cold stores is needed to be done so that the produce of farmers gets good price. He said that different valleys are being developed for specific produces. The chief general manager of NABARD, Sunil Chawla said that bank has assessed the credit potential of Rs 24656 Crore for Uttarakhand for the year 2020-21 out of which the state has a farm credit of Rs 11802. In the year 2019-20, the credit potential was Rs 23423 Crores.
He said that this year the theme for this year’s state focus paper is ‘high tech agriculture’ which is future farming that would involve biodiversity and biotechnology driven seeds and planting material and other improved inputs . The emphasis on micro- irrigation, environment friendly automation and mechanization, use nano technology inputs, climate forecast, GPS, robots, pilot-less tractors, drones and other machineries and tools would form part of future agricultural practices.
The Chief Minister also felicitated many Non Governmental Organisation (NHG), self help groups and representatives of banks on the occasion. The chairman of the state cooperative bank, Dan Singh Rawat, secretary R Meenakshi Sundaram, regional director of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Rajesh Kumar, representatives of many banks and social organisations attended the programme.