Agriculture Current Affair 6 January 2023

Centre working to develop agri sector in NE: Narendra Singh Tomar

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that agriculture is the country’s fastest growing sector and there will be no constraint of central funding for its development. Referring to the northeast, he said the Centre and the northeast states governments are working together to develop the agriculture sector given its potential for organic farming.

“Agriculture is the fastest growing sector in the country and the Center is making continuous efforts to make farming profitable. There will be no constraint of central funding for development of agriculture sector,” the union minister said inaugurating the newly constructed administrative and academic buildings of Pasighat Agriculture College in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday.

The Centre has endeavoured to establish a link between research and farming and provide scientific advice to farmers at the ground level. The setting up of the institute as visualised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will give an impetus to the development of agricultural education and research in Arunachal Pradesh along with other northeastern states, he said.

India should shift 5% of area under cereal cultivation to agro-forestry, says Century Ply chief

It will help increase farmers’ income and meet domestic wood demand: Century Ply’s Bhajanka

The Indian government should shift 5 per cent of the land under cereal cultivation to agro-forestry through incentives to help farmers earn higher income to emerge as a significant player in the global wood market, says Sajjan Bhajanka, Chairman, Century Plywoods.

“At least 60 per cent of the population in involved in agriculture and it serves only 16 per cent of the people in the country. That’s why we see farmers still languishing economically. If the Centre shifts 5 per cent of the land under cereals to agro-forestry, it can usher in a huge change in the rural and farmers’ economy,” Bhajanka told businessline in an online interaction.

Shifting will result in curbing the surplus in cash crops and creating a better demand-supply balance. While this will ensure farmers get a higher income, the 5 per cent of diversion to agro-forestry will be a bonus for growers, he said.

How the International Year of Millets will boost Indian millets

The government is making a concerted push, both domestically and abroad, to boost the production and consumption of millets

As proposed by India, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared 2023 as International Year of Millets (IYM). Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims to make IYM 2023 a ‘People’s Movement’ and also to position India as the ‘Global Hub for Millets’.

In April 2018, millets were rebranded as “Nutri Cereals” and the same year, the government declared it the National Year of Millets with the objective of generating more production and demand. On December 6, 2022, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) organised the opening ceremony for the IYM 2023 in Rome, which was addressed by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. A delegation of senior government officials from India also participated. The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare last month hosted a special ‘Millet Luncheon’ for the Members of the Parliament, which was attended by Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankar and the Prime Minister.

Millets have been made an integral part of the G-20 meetings and delegates will be given a true millet experience through tasting, meeting farmers and interactive sessions with start-ups and FPOs.

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