Sujan Singh Pathania, Agriculture Minister said that the Government has given high priority to crop diversification and during this year Rs.66Crore have been earmarked for this purpose. He was presiding over a meeting of field officers of Agriculture Department in Shimla on Tuesday.
Shri Pathnaia said that the vegetable production had already reached 14.60 lakh tonnes, generating a revenue of Rs. 2500 crore. He said that in the current year, Rs.450 Crore would be spent under various schemes to give boost to agriculture production and to increase income of farmers. In the current kharif season 4 lac hectare has been covered under food grain crops and the target of production has been fixed as 8.85 lakh M.T.
Agriculture Minister said that number of new programmes have been initiated by the Government which would transfer agriculture into agribusiness which included Dr. Y S Parmar Swarojgar Yojna of Rs.111 Crore, Rajiv Gandhi Micro irrigation scheme of Rs.154 Crore, Borewell/lift irrigation schemes of Rs.20 Crore, Mukhya Mantri Kisaan Evam Khetihar Mazdoor Jeevan Suraksha Yojna, setting up of centers of excellence for vegetable nursery, Organic farming in 2000 ha area and 20,000 vermi units,Uttam Chaara Utpadan Yojana, soil health card to every farmer during 2015-16. He said that State Government had decided to continue coffee plantation in 10 hectare area during this financial year and also weather based crop insurance scheme had been extended in peas, tomato and ginger crops.
He said that State Government has approached JICA for IInd phase of crop diversification project under Technical Cooperation. Besides, the Department was also implementing four national programmes for which Rs. 90 crore had been earmarked. He stressed upon the field officers to take all Government programmes to the farmers. Shri J.C. Rana, Director of Agriculture welcomed the Agriculture Minister and gave details of the Departmental programmes and schemes. About 60 districts and subdivision level officers participated in the meeting.