Chandigarh, February 17—The President, Mr Ram Nath Kovind, has called for looking at farming in a wider entrepreneurial context, and linking traditional farming to the agricultural value chain.

Mr Kovind was speaking as chief guest on the concluding day of the 4th Agri Leadership Summit-2019 at India International Horticulture Market, Gannaur, in Sonipat district, today.

Appreciating the farmers in Haryana who, with help from the state government, were adopting new methods to manage stubble and crop residue, he expressed the confidence that they would succeed in finding a solution to the problem of pollution caused by stubble-burning.

The Governor, Mr Satyadeo Narain Arya, Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Lal, Finance Minister, Capt. Abhimanyu, Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Minister, Mr O.P Dhankar, Urban Local Bodies Minister, Mrs Kavita Jain, and MP, Mr Ramesh Kaushik, were also present on this occasion.

Mr Kovind exhorted all stakeholders to work jointly to create an atmosphere in the country for making agriculture a viable option and attract entrepreneurs to make investment in agriculture sector. This would inspire farmers' children to take up farming enthusiastically. It would also make the farmers prosperous and enable Haryana to play a leading role in the efforts being made all over the country in the field of agriculture, he added.

The President strongly condemned the attack on the CRPF convoy in Avantipore area of Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir three days ago in which many brave soldiers were martyred. Describing the attack as an act of cowardice, he conveyed his heart-felt condolences to the families of martyred jawans. “I, on behalf of the country, express gratitude to our brave soldiers and pay tributes to them,” he added.

Mr Kovind said while farmers contributed to the food security of the country, our brave soldiers stood firm to safeguard our borders. It is only Haryana which has realized the saying ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ in real manner as most families in Haryana have one son in farming and another as a soldier .

Earlier, Mr Kovind honored nine farmers, including a woman, with ‘Haryana Krishi Ratna Award’ in recognition of their outstanding contribution in the cultivation of different crops. He also honoured Ch. Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, with the newly introduced Haryana Kisan Ratna Award.

Those honoured with ‘Haryana Krishi Ratna Award’ carrying a prize of Rs 1 lakh and citation included Mr Mange Ram of village Ramnagar district Yamunagar, Mrs Nitu of village Gudha district Mahendergarh, Mr Bhupender Singh of village Bhadawas district Rewari, Dr Shiv Darshan Malik of Bharat Colony, Rohtak, Mr Shiv Shankar of village Prabhuwala district Hisar, Mr Satish of village Makdala district Gurugram, Mr Dharmapal of village Chidi district Rohtak, Mr Ravinder of village Machrauli district Panipat and Mr Dinesh Kumar of village Manual district Sonipat.

The Haryana Kisan Ratna Award, carrying a prize of Rs 5 lakh and a citation, was received by Dr K P Singh, Vice-Chancellor of university. Mr Kovind congratulated the recipients of awards and said this would inspire other farmers and organizations to perform better in the field of agriculture.

Mr Kovind also launched Digital Kisan App which would provide information about unique initiatives and innovations in the field of agriculture through various means of social media. This digital platform, first-ever initiative in this field, has been connected with IT platform and nine community radio stations.

About eight lakh farmers could get connected with this digital platform every day. Interviews of agri-scientists and farmers would be uploaded on Youtube to acquaint the farmers with latest technology being adopted in the agriculture sector.

While emphasizing the need for adopting latest agricultural techniques for building India of the 21st century, Mr Kovind said combination of latest technology with traditional farming would definitely benefit the farmers. The present state government has taken several steps for the welfare of farmers in Haryana for which he appreciated the Chief Minister and the Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Minister.

Hailing the contribution Haryana made to the central pool, he said more than 65 per cent population of the state lived on agriculture. Though geographically Haryana stands at 21st position in the country, it ranks second from the standpoint of contribution of food grains to the central pool. It is due to this contribution it is said “Chota Rajya- Bada Yogdan (small state-big contribution).

He said the National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, had set several new records and made significant contribution in enhancing milk productivity. Haryana today ranks number two in the country in milk production which is a matter of pride.

Haryana has achieved second position in the country in per hectare production of fish. The farmers of Haryana are also way ahead in making available rice not only in the country but also to the world. Haryana exports 60 per cent of the total basmati rice in the country.

Appreciating the state government and farmers for taking effective steps for the management of agricultural residue, he said this had resulted in less pollution due to stubble burning this year.

The state government has also made efforts to link farmers with mandis. All the 108 mandis in the state are being linked with e-NAM, an online portal. With this, the farmers would be able to sell their produce more conveniently and get remunerative prices.

The Central Government has decided to implement Pradhanmantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna under which annual financial assistance of Rs 6,000 would be provided to the farmers in three installments, Mr Kovind added.

=====================

State government had set a target to ensure that farmers earned an income of at least Rs 1 lakh per acre. For this, besides the traditional farming of rice and wheat, farmers are being encouraged to adopt such allied activities as bee-keeping, dairy farming, fisheries etc.

Chandigarh, Feb 17--Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Lal, today said that the state government had set a target to ensure that farmers earned an income of at least Rs 1 lakh per acre. For this, besides the traditional farming of rice and wheat, farmers are being encouraged to adopt such allied activities as bee-keeping, dairy farming, fisheries etc.

He was addressing the 4th Agri Leadership Summit-2019 on the concluding day at India International Horticulture Market, Gannaur, in Sonipat district. At the outset, the Chief Minister paid homage to the martyred Jawans of the CRPF.

This is the 4th Agri Leadership Summit with three others having been held at Gurugram, Faridabad and Rohtak. The aim of the Summit is to find ways to enhance farmers' income and to realize the vision of the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, to double the income of farmers by 2022, he said.

Describing Haryana as the food basket of the country, the Chief Minister said Haryana contributed 45 per cent paddy and 65 per cent wheat to the central pool. Haryana has made significant achievement in agriculture but there are challenges which need to be met. Shrinking land holding is one of them.

Expressing concern over the depleting level of underground water in some parts of the state, the Chief Minister said the state government had declared some areas as dark zone. Apart from this, farmers have been encouraged to adopt micro irrigation. It is for the first time that water has reached 293 tail-ends in the state. The remaining seven tail-ends would also be covered soon, he added.

Mr Manohar Lal said the present state government had taken up projects like Lakhwar Dam project, Kisau Dam project and Renuka Dam project which had been lying pending for the last 40 years. Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) for two projects have been signed and after the construction of Lakhwar Dam and Kisau Dam, Haryana would be able to get 47 per cent share of total water.

He said about 45,000 Soil Health Cards had been issued to the farmers to enable them to grow crop according to the health of soil and improve soil fertility.

The International Horticulture Market, Gannaur, is being constructed over 600 acres of land at a cost of Rs 1,400 crore. The foundation stone of the market has been laid and the construction would start soon.

With a view to enhancing the income of farmers, Haryana Kisan Kalyan Pradhikaran has been constituted comprising different related departments. Similarly, Haryana Pond Management Authority has been constituted for the rejuvenation of 14,000 ponds in the state and to utilize the water of overflowing ponds for irrigation purposes, he added.

Addressing the Summit, the Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Minister, Mr O.P Dhankar, expressed his gratitude to the Central Government for recognizing the hard work done by the farmers of Haryana and honouring three farmers with the prestigious Padam Shri award.