Need to chalk out strategies to double farm income: Nitin Patel

By Times Of India on 09 Jun 2018 | read
GANDHINAGAR: Gujarat government will have to chalk out strategies to ensure that the income of farmers is doubled by 2022, deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said on the second day of the three-day chintan shibir being held in Vadodara, on Friday.

He said that the state will have to use scientific methods to increase crop production, manage water from the Sardar Sarovar Dam for irrigation efficiently and improve the quality of fodder grown on gaucher (waste land used for grazing) land to achieve this aim.

Speaking on “Possibilities in Agriculture Sector”, agriculture minister R C Faldu said that most of the genuine problems of the farmers could be solved by the district level officers. He asked agriculture department officers to work as guides of the farmers.

Chief secretary J N Singh suggested early steps to firm up marketing of farm produces and milk to ensure farmers and cattle owners get remunerative prices. “Horticulture is another way to augment farmers’ income. There is need to create awareness among farmers for increasing the scope of contract farming, maintaining quality to fetch better prices,” he said.

Additional chief secretary, agriculture, Sanjay Prasad, in his presentation said that about 96 lakh hectares of land is under agriculture in Gujarat and the state government’s efforts resulted in 46% increase in agricultural production during the last 15 years. Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) managing director, R M Sodhi, who was invited as an expert, said that animal husbandry has to be treated at par with agriculture and stress that the new generation must be motivated to take up animal husbandry.

Another expert, Dr Sukhpal Singh of Centre for Management in Agriculture at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), stressed on judicious use of water, modernization of farming, making technology available at affordable prices, post-harvest management, rationalising farm produce marketing and remunerative prices as the right steps to make farmers prosperous.