Increase in poultry production and income of poultry farmers, but be prepared for challenges: Shri Radha Mohan Singh
28th Annual Meeting of the Poultry Federation of India held in Hyderabad
on occasion, Shri Radha Mohan Singh expressed his views in detail regarding increase in business, problems associated with farmers and traders, and assistance given by Government of India. Besides this programme, the Union Minister also addressed the State agriculture scientists. In this meeting the State Agriculture Minister and Officers of Government India, I.C.A.R. and Agriculture University were also present.
Regarding poultry production, Shri Radha Mohan Singh stated that during 2014-15, the egg production with an annual growth rate of nearly 5% has reached 78 billion egg production. The poultry meat production is estimated to be 3 million metric tonne. At present the poultry products export is around Rs. 768 crore in 2015-16. Along with increase in poultry production, there is increase in income of poultry farmers. Shri Singh said that there are also problems associated with this industry and the small and large farmers have to grapple with them from time to time. One of the issues is spread of avian influenza which is a serious impediment to the development of this industry. Despite this, timely intervention by the Government and efforts of private sector has enabled development in this sector.
The Minister said that poultry production is not only an important source of subsidiary income generation for many landless and marginal farmers but also provides nutritional security to the rural poor. However, compared to the organized sector, this backyard unorganized sector needs efforts at different levels to grow. The Government of India under its initiative programme of National Livestock Mission aims at sustainable growth and development of livestock sector including poultry. Under the National Livestock Mission there are provision for a number of poultry farming and allied activities. We also need to pay attention to the global market challenges. Shri Singh stated that there are possible solutions for meeting challenges, whether at domestic or global level. Government has taken several steps in this regard. Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries has launched a dedicated website on Sanitary Import Permit for online receipt and processing of SIP applications for import of livestock and livestock products including poultry and implementation of Single Window System for online clearance of livestock and livestock products by all Animal Quarantine and Certificate Services Stations. In another programme held at National Academy of Agriculture Research Management, Hyderabad during interaction with agriculture scientist Shri Radha Mohan Singh placed in detail the programmes implemented by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. Shri Singh said that farmers’ population is nearly 55% of the total population of the country. Keeping in view the importance of farmers in the nation’s health and resources, the ‘Farmers’ Welfare’ is added to the name of Agriculture Ministry.
In order to give importance to agricultural sector, Government of India has initiated several initiatives for sustainable development of agriculture in Central Budget for the year 2016-17. The Government has already taken initiatives for the solution of two important factors (soil and water) relating to improvement in agricultural production. Steps have been taken to issue Soil Health Card Scheme and to improve soil fertility on a sustainable basis through traditional agricultural development and planning to promote organic agriculture. Also, to improve farm income of farmers and to improve use of water effectively through irrigation system under Prime Minister Irrigation Scheme, creation of a integrated national agriculture market has also been included so that ‘per drop, more productivity’ is achieved. In addition to this, greater emphasis is being given to implement Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme on a priority basis so that it is ensured that from ‘field to ground’, farmers are protected. Our premier institutes engaged with agriculture, like Indian Agriculture Research Council, Agricultural Universities and other departments of Government of India are also implementing Soil Health Card Scheme at grass root level.
Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare has signed MOU/contracts with 52 countries, which includes United State of America. Further, Departmentof Agricultural Research and Education Department (DARE) and Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries have also signed MOU/contracts with other countries, which have resulted into our participatory development with total 63 countries. With these agreements/MOU there will be improved facilities available in several sectors.
Today’s world is of information. In the present scenario, Information and Communication Technology has a significant role not only in dissemination of knowledge, but also to achieve economic gains. For distributing digital data and to provide access to farmers to information through mobile and internet connectivity, the Ministry has started wed enabled Farmer Portal and Mobile enabled M-Farmers SMS Portal, Farmers Call Center and DD Farmer Channel and two Mobile Apps. (Farmer facility and Pusa Agriculture).
In order to help our farmers to get benefit of market, an initiative has been taken, namely National Agriculture Market in which a common E-Market Platform of 585 regulated markets of the country will be set up so that farmers can sell their products through E-Marketing. We have to also face the several challenges of changing climate. There are many challenges before our scientistssuch as land degradation, water, climate change, emerging diseases and energy. To overcome these new areas of research are being explored. We havefixed a target to resolve major challenges like sustainable production system, food security, health and nutrition, environment and organic diversity and we have proving successful in addressing them through agriculture research. We believe that we can resolve complex challenges through our young scientists and agriculture research.
Shri Singh also said to the students that young scientists like them will be very successful to resolve problems relating to farmers and agricultural development through the knowledge they have gained during their study.