BARGARH :Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh accused the State Government of not utilising funds allocated by the Centre for development of farmers and farming in Odisha.
Singh, who was here on Saturday to inaugurate a three-day-long agriculture fair, said the State Government has failed to distribute soil health cards to farmers despite an allocation of Rs 17 crore for the purpose by the Centre.
Similarly, Rs 10 crore was allocated for development of pisciculture but the progress has not been satisfactory, he said.
“Modi Government has a lot of schemes for development of agriculture and horticulture, but it has to be routed through the State Government which has failed in passing down the benefits to farmers,” Singh said.
Speaking on the National Food Security Mission, the Minister said an amount of Rs 80 crore has been sanctioned of which, the State Government has utilised only Rs 16 crore. He said the Modi Government was doing all it can for the farming community and blamed the BJD Government for the plight of farmers.
Singh also stressed on the need to take up horticulture on a large scale, pisciculture and organic farming. He assured the farmers that the new crop insurance policy would take care of their losses.
Laying thrust on scientific farming, Singh said while the national average of paddy yield per hectare is 21 quintals, in Odisha it is 16 quintals.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram said there was no profit in traditional paddy and farmers need to switch to scientific farming. Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan also spoke.
Singh later visited the campus of Vikash-First Step Primary School here where he said agriculture is currently in ‘Sirshashan’ (headstand) position and the scene needs to be changed.
On the proposed agriculture university in Bargarh, Singh said it was the responsibility of the State Government and not the Centre. The Centre can only provide technical support and some financial aid, he said.