New Delhi, June 9 :
The government is committed to reverse the “unfortunate trend” of many farmers being driven to suicide due to financial problems, and will make farming a “profitable venture” through scientific practices and agro-technology, President Pranab Mukherje said Monday.
Outlining the Narendra Modi government’s agenda, Mukherjee said: “Agriculture is the source of livelihood for majority of our people. In the recent past, our farmers have been under severe stress with hopelessness driving some of them to suicides. My government is committed to reversing this unfortunate trend.”
“It will increase investment in agriculture, both public and private, especially in Agri-infrastructure. Steps will be taken to convert farming into a profitable venture through scientific practices and Agro-technology,” the president said as he addressed the joint session of both houses of parliament here.
India has 35.2 percent agricultural land under irrigation in 2008, according to World Bank.
In 2012, the National Crime Records Bureau of India reported 13,754 farmer suicides or 1.36 suicides per 100,000. Farmer suicides account for 11.2 percent of all suicides in India.
Mukherjee said the government will address issues pertaining to pricing and procurement of agricultural produce, crop insurance and post-harvest management.
“Productivity of animal husbandry will be increased. My government will incentivize the setting up of food processing industries. Existing cooperative sector laws will be reviewed to remove anomalies and lacunae. My government will adopt a National Land Use Policy which will facilitate scientific identification of non-cultivable land and its strategic development,” the president said.
He said as “each drop of water is precious”, the “government is committed to giving high priority to water security.”
The president said that the government will complete the long pending irrigation projects on priority and launch the ‘Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana’ with the motto of ‘Har Khet Ko Paani’ (Water for every field)
“There is a need for seriously considering all options including linking of rivers, where feasible; for ensuring optimal use of our water resources to prevent the recurrence of floods and drought.
“By harnessing rain water through ‘Jal Sanchay’ and ‘Jal Sinchan’, we will nurture water conservation and ground water recharge. Micro irrigation will be popularised to ensure ‘Per drop-More crop’,” the president added.