Kerala

Raise farmers’ income: Governor

Governor Arif Mohammad Khan visiting the stalls at VAIGA 2020 in Thrissur on Saturday. Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar, Chief Whip K. Rajan and Mayor Ajitha Vijayan are seen.

Governor Arif Mohammad Khan visiting the stalls at VAIGA 2020 in Thrissur on Saturday. Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar, Chief Whip K. Rajan and Mayor Ajitha Vijayan are seen.   | Photo Credit: K.K.NAJEEB

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VAIGA 2020, which highlights value addition in agriculture, gets under way

Efforts to enhance farmers’ income have to become the top priority of policymakers, Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has said.

He was speaking after inaugurating VAIGA 2020 (Value Addition for Income Generation in Agriculture), which seeks to highlight the importance of value addition in agriculture, here on Saturday.

Theme

The theme for VAIGA 2020 is sustainable growth through agripreneurship.

“We need to ensure that ordinary farmers get modern knowledge about value addition. What we need is a committed army of agripreneurs, who would use the available technologies to start business ventures that would fruitfully utilise the opportunities for value addition in agriculture,” the Governor said.

He said value addition in agriculture required more capital investment, infrastructure, marketing efforts, proper guidelines, training, governmental support and close monitoring. “Agricultural enterprises should get privileges at par with any other modern industry. Let us extend the concept of ‘ease of doing business' to agricultural businesses too,” he added.

Worst affected

Over 61% of the population in the country was dependent on agriculture. But its contribution to the total Gross Domestic Product was less than 15% and it was decreasing year after year.

The rise of the services sector as a major contributor to the nation’s economy had affected both the agricultural and industrial sectors. But, agriculture remained the worst affected due to people moving away from farming. The reasons included unstable income and risks relating to production, markets, and prices, the Governor said.

It was in this context that the Sate government decided to educate people about the importance of agriculture and the immense potential in processing and value addition of agricultural products. “These efforts of the Department of Agriculture have now resulted in more people coming into cultivation of paddy, vegetables and other crops. This certainly is an encouraging trend. However, our aim should be to ensure that we have more agro-based businesses flourishing in our State,” Mr. Khan noted.

Minister for Agriculture V.S. Sunil Kumar, Minister for Local Self-Government A.C. Moideen, Minister for Education C. Ravindranath, T.N. Prathapan, MP, Chief Whip K. Rajan, Mayor Ajitha Vijayan, among others, attended the function.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 5:19:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/raising-farmers-income-should-be-priority-governor/article30479424.ece

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