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Centre will revamp FCI, crop insurance: Radha Mohan Singh

Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty  

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The Centre will formulate a new farm insurance scheme and finalise reconstitution of the Food Corporation of India by March 31, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said here on Saturday.

The present farm insurance scheme suffered from several discrepancies and the losses incurred by farmers were not getting calculated appropriately, he said.

“We are in consultation with the States in this matter, ” Mr. Singh said.

He agreed that the minimum support price given to farmers in the case of cotton and food grains was “a big issue” and the reconstitution of the FCI was aimed at “helping farmers get fair process.”

A committee headed by the former Union Minister, Shanta Kumar, is looking into the FCI reconstitution and would submit its report to the government. He said.

Mr. Singh was in Anand district to launch the golden jubilee celebrations of the National Dairy Development Board, founded in 1965.Raising concerns over the likely impact of rising global temperatures on foreign breeds of milch animals, the Minister stressed the need to protect and improve indigenous breeds.

“In India, 17 per cent of cow breeds are foreign, whereas 83 per cent are indigenous. If we increase their productivity, the overall milk production will rise. Scientists and scholars are warning about the impact of climate change and rising temperatures. The increased temperatures may jeopardise the future of foreign breeds posing a problem for us. Many countries have centres to improve local breeds of milch animals. In India too, we need to protect and improve the breeds of indigenous cows,” he said.

The government has set aside Rs. 500 crore for the protection of indigenous cows.

Mr. Singh said India had been the largest milk producing nation since 1998. Since 1951, India’s milk production has increased to 137 million tonnes from 20 million tonnes. While the per capita milk availability has gone up from 120 grams to 300 grams, the distribution was still iniquitous.

With a view to conserving grazing lands, the government has issued directions to the States to take measures against their sale and unauthorised constructions on them.

On inflation, Mr. Singh said food inflation, which typically crossed 8 per cent during July to October had declined below 8 per cent.

Veteran cooperative farmers from Gujarat Maganbhai Patel, Arvindbhai Patel, Pujabhai Rathod, Fulabhai Patel and Gordhanbhai Patel were honoured for their long-standing contribution to the dairy cooperative movement.

Mr. Singh also underscored the need for increased participation by women in dairy development.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 9:54:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-will-revamp-fci-crop-insurance-radha-mohan-singh/article6579006.ece

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