Agriculture minister says UPA failed to prioritize agricultural sector during his tenure

At the Indian Sustainability Conclave on Friday, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar accused the UPA government of not giving adequate priority to the agriculture sector and said the Center had taken action over the past eight years to empower farmers.

The minister emphasized comprehensive development which should bring positive changes in the lives of the most vulnerable sections of society. Tomar said that India being an agricultural country, the role of agriculture is important.

“If we move away from the agricultural sector, even if we have money, agricultural products will not be available.” At the time of India’s independence, the agricultural sector’s contribution to GDP was 50% and has been gradually declining.

He pointed out that eighty-six percent are small farmers, for whom it is necessary to adopt technology in agriculture, to raise the quality of production to the level of world standards and also to make it a rewarding avenue. Tomar said that the agricultural sector is being modernized through technologies such as drones, digital agriculture missions and promotion of private investments, etc.

“Under previous governments, agriculture did not get the required priority and the attitude towards agricultural development remained subdued, due to which farmers’ income did not increase and adequate resources were not available to them, but now under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, farmers are empowered,” he said.

Tomar pointed out that 6,000 rupees are credited to the bank accounts of 11.5 crore farmers every year under the PM-KISAN scheme. “It’s the biggest program in the world. So far, more than Rs 2 lakh crore has been given to the farmers, without any theft,” he said, adding that the entire Rs 6,000 is directly deposited into the farmers’ bank accounts.

Tomar said several concrete steps have been taken as the promotion of agricultural startups, distribution of KCC and Rs16 lakh worth one million in short-term loans. He also said that farmers or peasants should not be despised, but that skilled labor is our country’s greatest strength.

Lana T. Arthur