Ensure rural jobs scheme helps farm sector: Pawar
Jaipur: Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Saturday said there was a need to bring together the centre's rural employment guarantee scheme MGNREGA and farmers in such a way that it helps the farm sector and increases production.
Pawar also advocated that farmers get adequate prices for their crops.
"MGNREGA is a good scheme to help poor people and labourers, but we will have to think that how we can bring together farmers and MGNREGA because after implementation of the scheme, there is lack of labourers to work in farms," Pawar said at a national-level function to felicitate farmers for innovation.
Pawar suggested that MGNREGA workers may be asked to work at farms during the sowing and harvesting periods.
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) aims at guaranteeing 100 days of wage-employment in a financial year to a rural household whose members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
Pawar asked Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to submit the state government's suggestions for bringing the jobs scheme and the farmers together in a more productive way.
Pawar also called for adequate prices to farmers.
"Farmers demand that they be given high prices for their crops in view of rising prices of pesticides, fuel etc. The government will have to work for relief from inflation, but at the same time it will be unfair if we do not give farmers adequate prices for their crops," he said.
Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, Rajasthan agriculture minister Harjiram Burdak were among others present at the function in which 28 farmers of 18 states were honoured for their innovations at national level.
Over 400 farmers of the state were honoured at the state, district and Panchayat levels for their notable contribution in the agriculture sector.
The function was organised jointly by the Rajasthan government and CITA (Centre for International Trade in Agriculture and agro-based industries).
Gehlot, meanwhile, underlined the importance of water management and use of drip irrigation in the desert state of Rajasthan.
He said that number of dark zones of underground water in the state are rising, deteriorating the quality of water and it was time for proper water management, with community support.
Gehlot said the state government has transferred five subjects to Panchayti Raj Institutions to empower them and agriculture was one of the subjects.