New Delhi : Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar has stressed on the need of increasing private investment in agriculture sector for propelling growth.
Addressing an international webinar organised by Ch. Charan Singh University, Meerut and a national webinar organised by Junagadh Agricultural University on Saturday, the Minister said that with the rise in private investment, agriculture sector will prosper which in turn will increase self-reliance and prosperity in the country.
Tomar said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a provision of Rs 1 lakh crore for developing agricultural infrastructure and similar provisions have also been announced for the fisheries, animal husbandry, bee-farming, herbal farming, food processing sectors etc.
He also called upon scientists to contribute in increasing agricultural production and mitigate difficulties.
In the webinar organised by Ch. Charan Singh University, Meerut, Tomar said, in the situation of Covid-19 pandemic, farmers have demonstrated that they are capable of dealing with difficult challenges.
He said that farmers continued harvesting and sowing of crops and other activities uninterruptedly even when there was lockdown in the the country which shows the resilience of our villages and farmers.
"To deal with the growing population of the country which is expected to reach 160 crores by the year 2050, plant breeders and scientists in India are faced with the challenge of increasing production of quality foodgrains and providing enough nutritional food to all Indians by undertaking progressive farming to develop disease-resistant and pest-resistant varieties that require less area and are able to grow in unfavourable conditions like dry climate, high temperature, saline and acidic soils.
"Bio-fortification strategy must also be used to develop high quality crop varieties having high protein, iron, zinc etc. nutritional content. For this, plant breeders have to use latest biotechnology methods in addition to traditional methods of farming," the Agriculture Minister said.
In the webinar organised by Junagadh Agricultural University, he stressed on achieving better farm production with usage of less water.
Tomar said Indian farmers produced a bumper crop with the resources available in the rural areas, crop harvesting continued at normal pace during the lockdown, crop production was more than last year and sowing of kharif crops has also been 45 per cent more than last year.