In order to enhance agricultural productivity, an investment of Rs 25 lakh crore will be made in the coming years, said PresidentRam Nath Kovind while addressing the joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday.
"Only on the foundation of a strong rural economy, it is possible to build a strong national economy. Our farmers are the pillars of the rural economy. All possible efforts are being made by the Central government to provide adequate assistance to the States for agricultural development," said Kovind.
"Large scale investments have been made to strengthen rural India. In order to enhance agriculture productivity, an investment of Rs 25 lakh crore will be made in the coming years," he said.
He said that to double the income of farmers by 2022, several steps have been taken in the last five years. Kovind said that the government has made the agriculture policy both production-centric as well as income-centric.
Be it the decision to increase the MSP, or approval for 100 per cent FDI in food processing; be it completion of the irrigation projects pending for decades or extension of 'Crop Insurance Scheme', be it the 'Soil Health Card' or 100 per cent Neem coating of urea; my Government has taken many decisions, appreciating such numerous small and big needs of the farmers," said the President.
He further said that through 'Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi' an amount of more than Rs 12,000 crore has been disbursed to the farmers in just three months. Estimated expenditure of Rs 90,000 crore is likely to be incurred annually on this scheme since every farmer has now been brought in its ambit, he said.
"With the provision of storage for farm produce, the economic security of the farmers is strengthened. Now the storage facility will be provided to the farmers near their village through the 'Grameen Bhandaran Yojana." he said.
"The benefit of cooperatives in the agriculture sector is being availed by the farmers in the dairy business. In other areas of agriculture also, the target is to create 10,000 new 'Farmer Producer Organisations' to benefit the farmers," he added.
He said that the government is committed towards 'Blue Revolution' and has the potential to attain the first place in the world in fish production.
"Today, India is second in the world in fish production. Our country has the potential to attain first place. There is immense potential for increasing the income of farmers through marine fish industry and inland fisheries," he said.
"That is why the Government is committed to 'Neeli Kranti' which means 'Blue Revolution'. A separate Department has been constituted for integrated development of fisheries. Similarly, a special fund has been created to develop infrastructure related to the fishing industry," said Kovind.
The Parliament's Budget Session, which began on June 17, will continue till July 26. The Economic Survey will be presented on July 4 followed by the Union Budget for 2019-20 on July 5.