Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said that 4Is – Irrigation, Infrastructure, investment and Insurance sectors need to be strengthened for development of farm sector. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the two-day National Consultation on Making Agriculture Sustainable and Profitable in VAMNICOM, Pune in Maharashtra.
Saying that evolving a multipronged strategy to make agriculture viable, profitable and sustainable is the main purpose of this consultation, the Vice President said that concerted, coordinated focused action is required improve the quality of life of people who are primarily dependent on agriculture.
The Vice President said that enhancing Lab-to-Land transfer of technologies, strengthening of marketing systems is the need of the hour.
“Given the small size of land holdings, it is imperative that we should enhance our productivity and focus on intensification,” he said.
Farmers must be given knowledge and technology of the modern day to improve farm productivity, he said stressing that Indian agriculture must move from a low-productivity stage to a high productive level.
“Increased productivity is possible if farmers have greater access to knowledge, technology and credit. At the same time we must ensure that the productivity is sustainable and equitable,” he said.
Outlining the need to promote diversification of crops, he said that farmers should be encouraged to cultivate high value crops like fruits, vegetables, condiments, pulses, spices and sugarcane.
The Vice President has asked scientists to work with the government’s extension machinery like Krishi Vignan Kendras to advise the farmers on the cropping patterns and post-harvest processes and food processing technologies.
Government programes like Kisan Credit Cards the Pradhan Mantri fasal bima yojana (PMFBY) are steps in the right direction, he said.
“The Government is rightly focusing on developing rural roads, supplying reliable power, establishing godowns, cold storage facilities, refrigerated vans and market yards. Farmers must make good use of all such schemes,” the Vice President said.
It is important to encourage farmers to take up allied activities like poultry, dairy, fisheries and aquaculture which can not only enhance farmers’ income but also cushion them against the adverse impact of failed crop season, he added.