KOKRAJHAR, March 2: Assam Agriculture minister Atul Bora, who attended a session on the closing day of the first Bodoland International Knowledge Festival in Kokrajhar, appealed to the farmers to avail the facilities offered by the government.
Atul Bora rued many of the schemes meant for the farmers are not utilised properly.
“Government of India has given us more than Rs 2000 crore for agriculture development fund but what I have witnessed in the last 3 years is that it has not been utilised much. Maybe not all the farmers are aware of it,” Atul Bora said on Thursday.
The Bodoland Knowledge Festival was organised by Bodoland University with active support from the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) government.
He further said, “Many of the farmers have not been able to avail the facilities of PM Kisan. A huge number of fake farmers were included as beneficiaries. Now, these are being scrutinised.”
Atul Bora continued to say that many did not apply for the trackers which were offered as subsidies to the Self-Help Groups in every revenue village of the state.
“You should come forward, avail the facilities and proceed towards development,” Bora said addressing the farmers.
“The farmers have to be business minded and they need to look at the profits. So, double and triple cropping is so important. Our farmers need to focus on the areas where the demand is more. If the banks grant loans to the farmers, they, with the help of the subsidies from the government, can try their hand in new agriculture.”
On the government support, the minister said the Assam government last year had procured 6 lakh metric ton paddies from farmers.
“We had a target of procuring 10 lakh metric ton paddy from farmers but that could not be achieved. We could procure 6 lakh metric ton. This year we are also working with a new target. So far, we have already bought 3 lakh metric ton paddies this year,” said Bora.
Thanking BTR chief Pramod Boro for organising the festival, Atul Bora further promised to extend all necessary support to the BTR government in the agriculture sector.
“You will be glad to hear that Assam’s agricultural produce worth Rs 4000 crore was exported to foreign markets last year. This is huge which never happened in the past,” Atul Bora said.
He said the government is working towards promoting an organic way of farming in all the districts.
“Pesticides used in the crops have caused harm to the consumers. Though we have taken steps to stop this, we will adopt strict measures to stop this kind of practice. We have focused on organic cultivation which is most relevant in the present world globally. We have taken steps to convert Majuli into an organic hub. If we can gradually spread this practice among all the districts, it will be beneficial in all aspects,” Bora added.
On the occasion, chief executive member of Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) Pramod Boro said they have undertaken several training programmes to enhance the performance of the farmers and producers in the region.
The four-day Bodoland International Knowledge Festival concluded on Thursday.
Union minister of state, Rameswar Teli, Assam cabinet minister Urkhao Gwra Brahma, Bodo Sahitya Sabha president Toren Boro were prominent attendees on the occasion.