Indore: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan elicited a thunderous applause from farmers when he announced on Sunday that rates of farm produce would be fixed per acre during his next term in MP, post assembly elections.
Chouhan was addressing farmers and other guests at a conference on MP’s glorious agri-revolution, organised by the Free Press and Moneycontrol.com in collaboration with MP agriculture department in Indore on Sunday evening. Free Press Group chairman Jai Kumar Karnani welcomed Chief Minister Chouhan and Indore Mayor Malini Gaud. NABARD CGM S K Bansal also graced the dais during the conference.
The Chief Minister made a host of announcements to address problems of farmers. He said that a mechanism would be developed to fix crop rate per acre which would be over and above the existing minimum support price and the Bhavantar crop payment scheme. He also said that in order to ensure better farm prices for farmers an Agriculture Produce Export Board would be set up in Madhya Pradesh. Again, to stop excessive production of a single crop, a system would be developed to guide farmers into apportion areas of their farm for different crops.
Addressing nearly 500 farmers from different districts of Madhya Pradesh, at the conference, he said that he was constantly in the process of working out schemes to double the income of farmers by 2022, as per the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “I will be the first to achieve this target in the country,” he said. Elaborating on his proposed ”rates per acre” scheme, Chouhan said that after the assembly election this would be implemented in the state to primarily help farmers with small and marginal land holdings whose productivity is low.
Chouhan also said that 15 years ago the irrigated farm area in MP was just 7.5 lakh hectares, but in the last 12 years of BJP rule it has gone up to 40 lakh hectares. “We have fixed the target to take it up to 80 lakh hectares and this will be done through river-linking projects. After Narmada-Kshipra river link, Narmada-Gambhir river link is in the pipeline; and soon we are going to start working on the Narmada-Chambal river link project,” he said. Acknowledging the problem of surplus production, which leads to decline in prices of farm produce, he said the government was developing a system to advice farmers on what to sow, depending on the projected demand.
The Chief Minister also underscored the need for crop diversification and setting up of small food processing units. Highlighting features of the food processing policy, he said that a unit of Rs 10 crore would be set up by the farmers’ children with government financial assistance.
- This will be a flat rate mechanism over and above the existing support price and Bhavantar scheme.
- CM reiterates resolve to be the first in the country to double the income of farmers by 2022, as per PM Modi’s announcement.
- Mechanism to guide farmers on which crop to grow and how much.
- Agriculture Produce Export Board to be set up.