Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government is focusing on nutrition in order to fight malnutrition in the country. She added that the government is committed towards the cause to double farmers' income.
"The government is committed to doubling farmers' income and addressing the issue of malnutrition in the country." Sitharaman added, "Earlier focus of research was on developing higher yield crop varieties. Now, the focus is to ensure the crops are nutritious, climate-resilient and other traits (of nutrition) are present."
During the press conference on June 28, she further added the government is looking at revival of North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC).
In the case of fighting malnutrition, she said ICAR has developed bio-fortified crop varieties having high nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, vitamin-A. She added the concentration of important nutrients far below required level, susceptible to biotic and abiotic stresses.
Varieties tolerant to diseases, insects pests, drought, salinity, and flooding, early maturing and amenable to mechanical harvesting has also been developed. She added 21 such varieties of rice, peas, millet, maize, soyabean, quinoa, buckwheat, winged bean, pigeon pea and sorghum will be dedicated to the nation.
Talking about NERAMAC, she stated 75 Farmer Producer Organisations/Farmer Producer Companies are registered with NERAMAC. It was also mentioned that a prepared business plan will be in place to give 10-15 per cent higher price to farmers by-passing middlemen/agents. The revival package of Rs 77.45 crore is proposed for financial restructuring and infusion of funds to NERAMAC, she stated.