In a bid to increase farmers' income and develop the agri-horti sector in the statet, Assam agriculture minister Atul Bora said that the state government taken up some major initiatives for the all-round development of the agri sector.
Bora said, “The state government has taken up some major initiatives for the all-round development of the agri sector of the state and in coming years the farmers of the state will get more benefits and their income will also be increased.”
He further added, “In the coming five years, the growth and development of the agri sector of the state will be more improved.”
“We have been taking some major initiatives for fast growth, and development in the agri-horti sector of the state as well as for farmer’s development under the constant guidance of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. We have taken up some missions like Millet Mission, Floriculture Mission, Honey Mission, Assam Fodder Mission and our department, officials are working hard. Our best experience so far is that a large section of educated young people have come forward and involved in this sector. Most of the farmers in the state are marginal farmers. 5 per cent land of our state is organic and we are fortunate about this,” Atul Bora said.
He said that the Assam Chief Minister has launched the Assam Millet Mission and the state agriculture department has cultivated finger millet in 620 hectares of land and foxtail millet has cultivated in 1045 hectares of land in the state.
“We have taken up a millet seed production programme and we have already tested our products in schools. Millets have also been supplied in many government schemes. We are encouraging our farmers to cultivate fodder for cattle mainly in the river valley of our state. We have decided to spend more than Rs 100 crore on the floriculture mission. On the other hand, under the National Mission on Edible Oils - Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), the government has identified 3.75 lakh hectares of land in the state for oil palm cultivation, plantation and we have selected 18 districts of the state for it and we have notified. Four experienced companies have been empanelled as implementing partners and awareness activities also be done in different parts of the state. It will not do any harm to the state. I believe that the farmers will come forward to cultivate oil palm in the state,” the Assam Agriculture Minister said.
The minister also said that there are around 10 lakh hectares of unutilized land in the state and the government will use these land for oil palm cultivation and forest land will not be utilized and there is no question of destruction of bio-diversity.
Atul Bora also said that the state government has taken up the initiative on organic farming in the state especially in Majuli, Hills districts.
“The state government has decided to procure mustard, paddy and finger millet at Minimum Support Price (MSP) and the procurement is going on and farmers are highly benefited from this. In the last 7 years, we have been making lots of efforts for farm mechanization, and agricultural mechanization in our state. We have distributed 1.76 lakh different types of machinery to the farmers like tractors, power tillers, combine harvesters, mini trucks, rotavators, threshers, potato planters, sprayer, rice mills, pump sets, solar electrical pump sets etc. under different schemes. We have also developed markets in various parts of the state – Darangiri market in Goalpara district which is one of the biggest banana markets in Asia, Pamohi market in Kamrup (Metro) district, and Singimari market in Goalpara district. We have set up three new cold storage – one in Kharupetia with a capacity of 5000 MT, Chhaygaon (5000 MT capacity), and Singimari (2000 MT capacity). Our government has targeted to set up 613 Farmers Producers Companies (FPCs) and we have formed 504 FPCs in the state. We have also distributed 42131 electrical pumps, diesel pumps and solar pumps among the farmers,” Atul Bora said.
He also said that 96 knowledge centres are now under construction, 100 ADO officers are under construction, and 26 soil testing and quality control labs are set up.
“A total of 8,75,203 farmers of the state have received the last instalment of Rs 273 crore from the central government under PM Kishan Yojana. Lakhimpur district has been awarded for Best Performing District Under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) at the 10th National Review Conference of PMFBY held at Rishikesh, Uttarakhand on August 26 this year," Bora said.
"Rs 413.43 crore has been sanctioned for farmers under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund for setting up processing units, cold storage, and godowns. We are keeping close coordination with Assam Agriculture University which didn’t happen in past, KVKs are also working with us. This year our agriculture budget is around Rs 2077 crore,” the agriculture minister further added.