No Drought of Ideas as Modi Calls for Plan B
NEW DELHI: Exhorting the officials to treat the challenge of deficit monsoon forecast as an opportunity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called for an intensive short-term plan to popularise farm ponds in the country.
Addressing a high-level meeting of top officials from the Ministries of Agriculture, Water Resources, Rural Development and Finance, besides the Niti Aayog and Prime Minister’s Office, Modi suggested a relook at the administrative mechanisms, financial arrangements and technology applications in irrigation sector. This would make way for a more comprehensive decision-making process, delivering quick results to farmers.
Reviewing the preparations for the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Modi said expansion of irrigation facilities should be linked with a comprehensive evaluation of cropping patterns across the states. A judicious mix of modern and micro irrigation systems such as drip and sprinkler irrigation should also be employed. Simultaneously, a thorough study of various traditional irrigation methods should be done.
The Prime Minister said young researchers from universities should be involved in irrigation policy planning. Young civil servants should be asked to propose district-level irrigation plans.
The Prime Minister noted that falling groundwater levels in some states have called for an urgent shift in cropping patterns. He cited maize crop and suggested its value addition to make it an attractive option among farmers.
Union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharati, Union Minister for Rural Development Chaudhary Birender Singh and Union Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Balyan attended.