Prime Minister has set a target to double farmers' income by 2022 and the Ministry is constantly working to achieve this goal. This was stated by Hon’ble Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh while addressing farmers at the three-day Regional Agriculture Fair (RAF) for Southern Region in Port Blair.The Hon’bleMinister said that the Ministry has outlined a new program to provide necessary technical and agricultural related information to the farmers. Under this scheme, Agriculture Fairs are being organised in all the five regions of the country. He said, for the first time, this fair is being organised in the southern region of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which shows this government’s commitment towards the development of the island.Considering the limited resources on the Island, ICAR-CIARI was established on June 23, 1978, by merging different Regional Research Stations of the ICAR Institutes with an aim to make the farmers self-reliant. This institute caters to various needs of agricultural research and development and is willing to do various innovative research works to increase productivity and product quality of crops, horticulture products, livestock, and fishery.
Shri Singh said during 2016, CIARI activities have been extended to Lakshadweep Islands by bringing KrishiVigyan Kendra under its flagship. From April 2017 onwards, CIARI is running its regional centre at Minicoy islands Lakshadweep. He said he is happy to see farmers from Lakshadweep at the fair.The Hon’ble minister said besides tourism, agriculture is contributing to the livelihoods of people in the region. CIARI is entrusted with the task of developing technologies to promote agriculture and crops that are more productive for farmers. Shri Singh further added that the institute has made several significant achievements during the past four decades of its service despite several constraints including its remote location in islands. Appreciating the development work by the Andaman & Nicobar Administration, he said that the administration and CIARI are working in tandem and this coordination will be beneficial for the farmers.
Earlier in the day, Agriculture Minister participated in the Organic Farming Conference in Port Blair. On this occasion, he said that 22.5 lakh hectares of land has been brought under organic farming through various schemes so far and out of them ParamparagatKrishiVikasYojana (PKVY) and Organic Value Chain are important schemes.The Minister also said that the Ministry launched PKVY to promote organic farming in cluster mode. Under the scheme, farmers are given Rs 50,000 per hectare for the 3-year turnaround time for organic farming, PGS certification, packaging, branding, and marketing. During the year 2015-16, 10,000 clusters were formed and 2-lakh hectare area was brought under organic farming in different parts of the country.The Minister said he was happy to be in Port Blair at the ICAR- CIARI and sharing information related to organic farming with the stakeholders. He said that small and marginal farmers, who cannot bear the agricultural production cost, may consider organic farming, which involves low cost and high profit. Andaman Nicobar islands are suitable for organic farming and it is gradually adopting organic farming (321 hectares).