Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday said the government is committed to addressing various challenges faced by the agriculture sector, including climate change.
"Due to severe climate imbalance, some regions are facing droughts while others are struggling to control floods. The government is serious about such adverse climatic conditions and our scientists are also working very diligently to develop innovative seed varieties which are compatible with such climatic conditions," he said in his address as chief guest at the 16th Sustainability Summit 2021 of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a Ministry release said.
"During the Covid-19 crisis, despite the pandemic, Indian farmers with their hard work could achieve bumper production. India being an agricultural country, the contribution of the agriculture sector to the GDP has always been significant," Tomar said.
He noted that under the 'Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi', so far Rs 1,57,000 crore have been deposited in the bank accounts of more than 11 crore farmers of the country.
The Minister said that the Prime Minister has launched the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, which will prove beneficial for other industries including food processing.
In order to make agriculture profitable for small and medium farmers, infrastructure is being developed near the farms as part of the concrete steps of the government. In this regard, an Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs 1 lakh crore has been created, through which projects are being sanctioned, he said, as per the release.
Projects of more than Rs 4,000 crore have been approved and work has started for 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) to be formed in the country under the new scheme, he said, adding that the scheme will provide a better market to the farmers and enhance their income.
He also said that it is a matter of pride for the country that it had figured in the top 10 list of agricultural produce exporters.
Listing out the various reformative steps taken by the government, Tomar said: "These reforms have created substantial investment opportunities and have tried to bridge the gaps."
The conference was also addressed by Denmark's Environment Minister Lea Wermelin and CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee and Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, Sanjiv Puri.