New Delhi: The Centre will offer incentives to states that take urgent measures to avert farm crisis by implementing strategies to raise agricultural output, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on 14 May.
“I had directed the Planning Commission to work with the Ministry of Agriculture and come up with specific proposals to promote state-specific agricultural strategies and ways of incentivising states to adopt such strategies,” he said, presiding over the meeting of the full Planning Commission.
The Prime Minister said whatever strategies were chosen by the states, they must deliver tangible benefits to farmers, consumers and the rural economy as a whole.
“This is important if we have to avert any crisis in the agrarian sector and fulfil the needs of a growing economy,” Singh said.
In its presentation before the meeting, the Department of Agriculture stated that a draft National Policy for farmers was being considered by a committee of secretaries and a broad consensus among states has emerged.
The draft policy involves setting up of Rainfed Area Authority with a budget of Rs300 crore, bringing additional area under irrigation, launching of special wheat production programme with investment of Rs 841 crore and an action plan for increasing pulses’ production.
Under the Horticulture Mission, a public-privatisation model has been suggested by the Ministry of Agriculture.