Pawar asks Maha govt to implement vegetable farming scheme
Mumbai: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Monday asked Maharashtra government to implement the Central scheme of encouraging vegetable farming within the 50 km radius of cities and towns with 10 lakh population.
"Last year, a budgetary provision of Rs 300 crore was made for the purpose of encouraging vegetable farming within 50 km radius of cities and towns with 10 lakh population. The state government needs to take up the scheme and implement it in the state. This will help farming as well as citizens will get vegetables at affordable rates," Pawar said.
He was speaking at a agriculture awards function organised to mark the birth centenary of late chief minister Vasantrao Naik.
Pawar said that the export of agriculture produce had helped to increase the country`s foreign exchange reserves.
He also expressed concern over agriculture research taking a backseat due to several reasons like the issue of genetically-modified seeds being sub-judice and objections from different quarters. "Due to this, there is no good sentiments among agriculture researchers," he said.
Earlier, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in his speech voiced concern over the rising vegetable prices in Mumbai.
"I had discussed the issue with Pawar and felt that the price rise was due to prevailing drought situation and decrease of sowing area of vegetable crops," Chavan said.
He said there was a ongoing debate on whether genetically modified (gm) seeds are secure or not. "Central government has prepared a bio safety protocol. The state government has set up a committee headed by Anil Kakodkar to take decision regarding permitting trials," he added.
Paying rich tributes to Naik, the state`s longest serving chief minister, Pawar said the late leader was a firm believer in democratic values. "He believed that even a fiercest opponent needs to be treated with respect. It was under Naik government that decision to accord Cabinet rank status to a leader of opposition was taken," Pawar said.
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