New Delhi: The government will link 400 of the 585 wholesale mandis in India with the electronic national agriculture market (e-NAM) by this month end to ensure that farmers get better rates for their produce, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Wednesday.

The rest will be linked by next March, he said. Singh said the government’s focus is on increasing output of agriculture as well as allied sectors and reducing production costs to double the farmers’ income by 2022.

He also said that India will produce 22 million tonnes of pulses this year and is expected to become self-sufficient in this area within 2-3 years. The current demand for pulses is about 25 million tonnes.

“We will link 400 mandis on electronic trading platform e-NAM by end of this month and all 585 mandis by March 2018 under the e-NAM programme," Singh said after inaugurating the 3-day Krishi Unnati Mela in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in April last year launched e-NAM on a pilot basis with 22 mandis in eight states. As many as 250 mandis were integrated till September last year.

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The government has made arrangements for conducting wholesale market through e-NAM in the whole country so that the farmers may sell their products at reasonable price, he had said. Singh called for the second green revolution that can help increase farmers’ income.

He highlighted that the Centre in the last three years has launched various schemes such as soil health card, new agriculture insurance scheme and 100% neem-coating of urea for the growth of farm sector.

He said the government is augmenting the irrigation capacity so that water can reach every agriculture field in the country and promised that adequate funds would be made available for this important sector. The minister thanked farmers for estimated record output of foodgrains in the 2016-17 crop year at 272 million tonnes, which he said is 7 million tonnes higher than the previous all-time high achieved in 2013-14.

Singh also spoke about the role of allied sectors like fishery, poultry and milk to boost farmers income. He said the government has launched blue revolution with an outlay of 3,000 crore for a period of 5 years.

The government is opening new Krishi Vigyan Kendras and strengthening the existing ones to provide better extension services in the agriculture, he said. “Agriculture education, agriculture research and agriculture extension are also important to increase farmers income," Singh said.

He criticised the previous government for not paying adequate attention to the farm sector and said the current regime’s top priority is development and upliftment of farmer.

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