Patna: To boost agricultural yield, the Union Agriculture Ministry is going to launch `Pradhan Mantri Gram Sinchai Yojana` in the country.
"The motive of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sinchai Yojana will be to take irrigation water to each and every agricultural field in the country. Farm productivity could not be increased until water is available for irrigation. We are chalking out the details of the scheme," Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said here today.
"Productivity is also linked to the health of the soil. High yield is possible only when soil is healthy. The central government will issue Soil Health Card to farmers in the country. Help of scientists and agriculture students will be taken in this mission to check the condition and fertility of fields," Singh said at a felicitation programme at his maiden visit to Bihar after becoming a union minister.
Under the programme `Soil Health Card` (SHC) would be distributed among farmers to show the status and production capability of the farm soil and understand its suitability to various types of crops, he said.
The two schemes, he said, were parts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s agenda to strengthen the country in five years, and this could happen only when the condition of farm and farmers in the country was improved.
According to the union government`s statistics, only 44 per cent of the 14 crore hectares of arable land in the country is irrigated. The rest depends on monsoon, he said.
"My ministry`s priority is to strengthen and develop villages and farmers. If these two units are strong, our country will be strong. Abundant agricultural productivity will also provide work to the jobless hands," the minister said.
The minister also said that despite the chances of a weak monsoon and a shortfall in agricultural production, inflation would not be allowed to increase.
"Steps are being initiated to check hoarding and black-marketing of food grains and edible commodities and those would be monitored from the highest level of the central government," he said.
He also talked about the way beneficial proposals remained stuck in the files in the agriculture ministry for years.
"The other day a file carrying a proposal to open a central agriculture university at Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh came to me. I asked whether there were other such proposals, and pat came another file which had a proposal of converting the Rajendra Agricultural University at Pusa in Bihar to a central university," he said.
It remained blocked in files for the last three years, despite the fact that there was no central agricultural university in the country, Singh said.
Krishi Vigyan Kendras or agriculture science centres would also be strengthened in all the districts of the country so that they could come to the aid of farmers. Right now these centres had no facilities for scientists to move around in the villages, he said.
Singh, who is a fifth time Lok Sabha member, is on a whirlwind tour of the state. He will be visiting Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, Motihari, Gopalganj and Siwan districts before returning to New Delhi on Monday.