Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that the Central Government is committed to rural development and has put farmer’s upliftment on a larger map.
“This government has clearly put rural development and farmers’ concern on a larger landscape of food security, national security and farmer conditions and looking at overall water management and soil fertility,” she said while addressing the audience at the sixth World Congress on Rural and Agricultural Finance in New Delhi.
The Union Minister also stated that the Central government is making efforts to push sustainable and renewable energy sources in rural areas in order to provide farmers an additional source of income.
“I want anna datta to be urja datta also. We are working in a direction where we can install solar panels, turbines etc so that farmers can generate power on those pieces of land where they are unable to grow the produce,” she said.
Sitharaman also announced that 10,000 farmers produce organizations will be formed so that the agriculturalists can get the correct price for their produce and also “credit and other assistance from the government can be extended to them.”
She also said that the Centre is pushing for National Agriculture Market (eNAM) or National Agriculture Market and added “the state governments are being cajoled into rejecting Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFCs)”.
eNAM is a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing Agricultural produce market committee (APMC) mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
The Union Finance Minister also spoke about self-help groups (SHGs) and stated that in the Budget, the Centre stated that it will provide Rs 1 lakh to each of these SHGs to bring growth in rural parts of the country.
“The approach to farmers, farming community-related to women, agriculture and agri-related matters would have synergy and have a dynamic effect to the rural economy,” she added.