Uttar Pradesh cabinet decisions: Natural farming board, free distribution of seeds get nod - Hindustan Times
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Uttar Pradesh cabinet decisions: Natural farming board, free distribution of seeds get nod

By, Lucknow
Oct 13, 2022 11:00 PM IST

Promoting cow-based natural farming, agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi said, was part of the BJP’s Sankalp Patra (manifesto) for the 2022 assembly polls.

Fulfilling the BJP’s poll promise, the Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Thursday cleared a proposal to set up a natural farming board to be headed by the chief minister in Uttar Pradesh to promote cow-based organic farming in a big way.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath chairing a meeting of the Uttar Pradesh cabinet in Lucknow on Thursday. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE )
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath chairing a meeting of the Uttar Pradesh cabinet in Lucknow on Thursday. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE )

Briefing the media, agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi said the agriculture minister will be the vice- chairman of the board.

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He also said the government would distribute 2.5 lakh mini kits of chana (chickpea) and masoor (red lentil) seeds free of cost to farmers affected by adverse weather conditions this year.

“Each kit will contain 16 kg of chana seeds and 8 kg of masoor seeds. Besides, 28,000 quintals of seeds of pulses will also be distributed free cost, entailing an expenditure of 32.64 crore,” Shahi said.

All these seeds will be sown on around 2 lakh hectares of land that could not be covered with kharif crops due to scanty or excessive rainfall, the minister said.

As for the natural farming board, he said ministers of the departments of finance, agriculture marketing, horticulture, animal husbandry and dairy development, panchayati raj, rural development, cooperative and minor and small-scale industry will be its members. The additional chief secretaries/principal secretaries of the departments concerned will also be its members.

“The chief minister will be authorised to nominate two farmers with experience in organic farming and two agriculture scientists on the board as its members,” Shahi said.

He said there would be a governing body chaired by the chief secretary with the agriculture production commissioner and additional chief secretaries/ principal secretaries as its members. Two farmers can also be made governing body members with the agriculture minister’s prior approval.

“A district-level natural farming board under the chairmanship of DM will also be set up in each district,” Shahi added.

Promoting cow-based natural farming, the minister said, was part of the BJP’s Sankalp Patra (manifesto) for the 2022 assembly polls.

“We are already spending more than 68 crore to promote organic farming in all the seven districts in Bundelkhand,” he said.

GOVT GUARANTEE FOR BANK LOAN TO BUY PADDY

The minister said the state government would furnish credit guarantee to enable the U.P Federation Cooperation and the U.P. Cooperative Union to take short-term loan up to 4000 cr and 800 crore, respectively, from the nationalised banks for the purpose of purchasing paddy from farmers during the current marketing season 2022-23.

“The loan can be used only to buy paddy from farmers and not for any other purpose,” he said.

He said the paddy procurement in the first phase began with eastern UP on October 1 and second phase would start in western UP on November 1. “The government has fixed the minimum support price for the common grade paddy at 2022 per quintal and 2060 per quintal for the grade-A paddy,” Shahi said.

MAIZE, MILLET TO BE PURCHASED AT MSP

The minister further said that the in view of the International Millets Year 2023, the state cabinet had approved a proposal for the purchase of maize (makka) and millet (bajra) on the MSP of 1962 per quintal and 2350 per quintal respectively.

“The government has fixed a target of purchasing 1 lakh metric ton of maize and 50,000 metric ton of millet through 100 and 25 government procurement centres to be set up in the state’s different production areas,” he said.

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