Agriculture has seen tech reforms for first time since Independence only under Modi govt: Union Minister

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh on Monday urged the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in Anand to come up with a new innovation so that farmers are able to separate A1 and A2 milk for better income. He was speaking at a seminar on the ‘Role of Technology in Doubling Dairy Farmers’ Income’ organised by NDDB here.

Addressing more than 600 farmers from across 16 states, Singh said that after Independence, the country’s agricultural sector saw technological reforms only under the current BJP rule. He said that when the Prime Minister made a promise that farmers’ income will be doubled by 2022, many were sceptical and the reason was lack of technological reforms in the agricultural and allied sectors since Independence.

“The only other person in the cabinet to think about poor farmers, visit villages, was Sardar Vallabhai Patel, who left us soon. This was unfortunate for the country and the farmers. After 1947, the country went ahead but there no major technological advancements or reforms in agriculture sector. It was only when Shastri (Lal Bahadur) became the Prime Minister that for the first time our houses resonated with a slogan for the farmers — Jai Jawan, Jai Kisaan. After the drought in 1980s, 85-90 per cent farmers were below poverty line who reared indigenous cows, which produced 1 or 1.5 kg milk daily. This government has brought reforms to improve the conditions of the poor farmers,” he said.

He urged NDDB to come up with a new innovation that can help separate A1 and A2 milk, and also enhance the production and sale of A2 milk in the market. In India, indigenous cow and buffalo breeds are majorly A2 types. A1 milk is mostly produced by European cow breeds. “There are many farmers who are landless and own cows, but without the separation (between A1 and A2 milk), they earn very less. Then they tend to keep buffaloes and mix the milk of the two. There should be a better and profitable provision for indigenous A2 milk now. We have already provided funds to states like Karnataka and Odisha to produce and sell milk separately,” Singh said.

[ September 11, 2018]