By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 14 Jul: A two-day conference of Agriculture and Horticulture Ministers of all the states of the country is being organised by the Union Ministry of Agriculture on 14-15 July in Bengaluru. Agriculture Minister Ganesh Joshi is representing the state at this conference.
Today, on the first day of the conference, he presented a blueprint on the importance of agriculture and horticulture activities in a Himalayan state like Uttarakhand and the roadmap for the development of agriculture and horticulture. Taking advantage of this opportunity, he also firmly presented the demand for 100 percent central grant for the state for promotion of organic agriculture.
Agriculture Minister Ganesh Joshi, in his address, presented the vast possibilities in the agriculture and horticulture sector in Uttarakhand before Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar and Agriculture Ministers of other states. He said that, along with strengthening the economy of the state, agriculture and horticulture are going to become the most effective tool to address the serious problem of migration from the hill areas. He claimed that the state is moving ahead on the same roadmap by making a far-reaching plan for the overall development of agriculture and horticulture.
“We have planned to develop the areas of coarse cereals (under Mission Millet), horticulture products and floriculture products in a phased manner under a cluster approach, along with traditional agricultural products,” he declared. “Along with this, work is being done to develop necessary agro-infrastructure to support every value chain and to make food processing activities world-class and to provide regional, national and international markets to the farmers according to the quality of the products.”
He said that with increasing urbanisation there is a huge demand for quality agricultural and horticultural products especially organic products. Based on the pure environmental and temperature conditions present in a mountainous state like Uttarakhand, there is a lot of potential for organic farming. To motivate the farmers of the state towards organic agriculture on mission mode, there is an urgent need to provide 100% subsidy for organic farming on the lines of North Eastern states.
He said that the geographical and environmental conditions of Uttarakhand are similar to that of the North-East states. Uttarakhand is also a similar hill state. Therefore, the state of Uttarakhand should also be given 100 percent grant to promote organic agriculture on the lines of MOVCD (Mission Organic Value Chain Development) operated in the North-East states.
The Agriculture Minister also demanded Rs 2000 crores under the “Harnessing the Horticulture Potential of Uttarakhand” project prepared by the state government to develop the vast potential of the state under the horticulture and food processing sector.
Under the Centrally funded Horticulture Mission Scheme, a proposal for an outlay of Rs 200 crores for the financial year 2022-23 has been prepared and sent to the Centre. Under the “Per Drop More Crop” scheme of “Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana”, a proposal of about Rs 100 crores for the financial year 2022-23 was placed before the Union Agriculture Minister.