Home / Industry / Agriculture /  Empowering small farmers will boost India’s GDP, says minister Tomar

New Delhi: Union minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday said that if small farmers are empowered, it will boost India’s GDP.

Speaking at an event after launching the Kisan Tak channel and its website of the India Today Group, he said that small farmers constitute 85% of farming community and they face the challenge of lack of private investment. “Farming is the backbone of India’s economy and the farm ecosystem is the main pillar of Indian economy," he said.

Tomar said that the central government has undertaken an ambitious programme of forming 10,000 Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) with an outlay of 6,865 crore to boost the economic capacity of small farmers. While in the plains, 300 farmers can form an FPO, in hilly and north-eastern region 100 farmers can join to form an FPO. The FPOs can have a bargaining power to have new technologies, improved fertilizers and quality seeds as well as equipment and can add productivity through cluster farming.

The minister said that 1,50,000 crore of Atmanirbhar package has been earmarked for farmers, including 15,000 crore for horticulture, 20,000 crore for fisheries, 4,000 crore for herbal agriculture and 10,000 crore for food processing industries.

Tomar said that in 2013-14, agriculture budget was 21,000 crore, which has been increased by the government to Rs1,25,000 crore. He informed that 2,40,000 crore has been disbursed through PM Kisan Samman to 11.5 crore farmers.

He added that in the last nine years the Modi government has provided a total of 20 trillion as short-term loan to free farmers from the clutches of money lenders. He said that new innovations in farming as well as application of new technologies has also added to enhance productivity as well as increased production of food grains. The minister pointed out that last year, 4 trillion worth of agriculture product exports were recorded, the highest since Independence.

Tomar said agriculture will continue to play a major role as India.

“Today the responsibility has come upon the Indian agriculture sector and our farmers to eradicate hunger from the world. Expectations from us has increased so much that instead of demanding, we have become a nation of exports," he added.

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