Union agriculture minister Radha Raman Singh on Friday said that the NDA government had started paving way for implementation of various recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee report to convert agriculture into a profitable vocation.
The minister was talking to reporters after addressing at the inaugural function of the two-day workshop-cum-brainstorming session on 'Optimising talent search for the national agricultural research and education system' at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) here organised by the Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB), an apex body involved in the recruitment of scientists in the country.
He said that ensuring soil tests at farmers' doorsteps and providing irrigation facilities were among other steps okayed by the Centre.
Similarly, the 'Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana' would be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi this month to ensure water supply to farmers throughout the year, he said.
"Nearly 200 recommendations have been stated in Swaminathan formula and the NDA regime has already started working on them. We are committed to providing various opportunities to farmers to earn profits like any other professional venture," the minister said.
Horticulture University for Haryana
The minister reiterated the NDA's commitment to starting a horticulture university in Haryana in consultation with the state government.
He said that the NDA government had already released Rs 568 crore to provide soil health cards (SHCs) to 14.5 crore farmers in the next three years.
In his inaugural address, the minister urged the gathering comprising heads of various agricultural research institutes and eminent scientists among others to give their opinions to improve the process of recruitment and promotions of scientists to strengthen the agricultural scenario.
Singh said that there was a plan to link the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs) at each district with their counterpart officials from the state agriculture extension teams.
"At present, there is no coordination between the two and the farmers were deprived of solutions to their farming related grievances," he said.
2nd Green revolution in North Eastern States
Singh said that his ministry would tap the northeastern (NE) states for bringing in the second green revolution in the country as the fruits of the green revolutions did not reach these seven sister states.
Pointing out the potential of blue revolution in the NE states, the minister said that it could be realised by systematically developing fishing industry in the country.
Singh said that it was highly unfortunate that even after six decades of India's independence, agriculture had not been given due importance.
"The previous regimes were only confined to making announcements whereas nothing was done on the ground level. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now chalked out several plans to make agriculture a lucrative vocation and to build an army of talented human resource persons to conduct research in the field," he said while urging farmers to replace wheat-paddy cycle with horticulture.
He stressed the need to develop a national breeding centre for conservation and promotion of the indigenous breeds of cow.
"Studies have revealed that the cross-bred and other exotic breeds of milch animals have developed diseases due to changes in climatic conditions. There is a need to identify and promote cattle like Vechur, a goat-sized cow in Kerala that is known its highly adaptive nature and good quality milk," he said.
Appeals scientists to adopt villages
The agriculture minister urged scientist fraternity to create agricultural awareness among farmers of at least one village about various initiatives in agriculture with the theme of 'Mera Gaon, Mera Gaurav'.