The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has launched a component called “Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development” under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY-RAFTAAR) in 2018-19 with an objective to promote innovation and agri-entrepreneurship by providing financial support and nurturing the incubation ecosystem. The Ministry has appointed five Knowledge Partners (KPs) as Centers of Excellence and twenty four RKVY-RAFTAAR Agribusiness Incubators (R-ABIs) from across the country for implementation this program. So far, 173 women startups/ entrepreneurs have been supported under the “Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development” program. Besides, the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) has been supporting Agri-based startups under the project called National Agriculture Innovation Fund (NAIF) initiated in year 2016-2017. So far, 50 Agri-Business Incubation Centers (ABICs) have been established and are operational in the ICAR network under NAIF scheme. Potential women startups/ entrepreneurs can avail benefit from these programs.
- The Government is making all efforts to enhance water use efficiency at farm level through adoption of micro irrigation in all the States of the Country and so far an area of 137.80 lakh ha has been covered under Micro Irrigation.
The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) is implementing Per Drop More Crop component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY-PDMC) from 2015-16 in all the States of the Country. The PDMC scheme focuses on enhancing water use efficiency at farm level through Micro Irrigation viz. Drip and Sprinkler irrigation systems.
Besides, with the objective of facilitating the States in mobilizing resources for expanding coverage of micro irrigation, Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) has been created with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). The major objective of the fund is to facilitate the States in mobilizing the resources for expanding coverage of Micro Irrigation by taking up special and innovative projects and also for incentivising micro irrigation beyond the provisions available under PDMC scheme to encourage farmers to install Micro Irrigation systems.
Farmers are encouraged to take advantage of the PDMC scheme through wide publicity through press & print media, publication of leaflets/booklets, organization of workshops, exhibitions, farmer fairs, information on State/Government of India web portals etc. In addition, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) imparts training and organizes field demonstrations through Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) to educate farmers for promotion of efficient irrigation techniques/ Micro Irrigation for various crops.
The Government provides financial assistance or subsidy @55% of the indicative unit cost to Small & Marginal farmers and @45% to Other farmers for encouraging them to install Drip and Sprinkler Irrigation systems under the PDMC scheme to enhance the coverage. In addition, some States provide additional incentives/top up subsidy to reduce farmers’ share for adoption of Micro Irrigation.
This information was given by Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.
- The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) is implementing a Sub-Mission on Nutri-Cereals (Millets) under National Food Security Mission (NFSM) to enhance area, production & productivity of millets including bajra. Under this Sub-Mission, bajra is being promoted in 89 districts of 9 states including 14 districts of Gujarat. North Eastern States, Himachal Pradesh and the UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh have been given flexibility to include the districts under program. Through the efforts made by the Government, the production of millets has increased from 14.52 million tons in 2015-16 to 17.96 million tons in 2020-21. The production of bajra has also increased from 8.07 million tons to 10.86 million tons during the same period. The State Governments can also promote cultivation of millets and bajra under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana – Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture & Allied sector Rejuvenation (RKVY- RAFTAAR) with the approval of the State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSC) constituted under the chairmanship of the chief secretary of the State.
In view of the nutritional value of the millets, the Government has notified millets as nutri-cereals in April, 2018. Millets are a rich source of Protein, Fiber, Minerals, Iron, Calcium and have a low glycemic index. The National Year of Millets was celebrated in 2018. To create domestic and global demand and to provide nutritional food to the people, Government of India had proposed to United Nations for declaring 2023 as International Year of Millets (IYoM). The proposal of India was supported by 72 countries and United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA) declared 2023 as International Year of Millets in March, 2021. The Government is popularising nutri-cereals through Research & Development support and has established 3 Centers of Excellence (CoE). Support is also given to start-ups and entrepreneurs for developing recipes & value-added products that promote consumption of millets. 8 bio-fortified varieties/hybrids of Bajra have been released for cultivation from 2018 to till date.
In order to facilitate the movement of the millets, Government has already revised the guidelines for movement of the surplus production of millets to other states. The provision of inter-state transportation of surplus millets through Food Corporation of India (FCI) is incorporated to cater for advance demand placed by consuming state before the start of procurement. This information was given by Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply in Lok Sabha.