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PRESIDENT PRESENTS KRISHI KARMAN AWARDS TO STATES FOR EXCELLENCE IN FOODGRAIN PRODUCTION

10th February 2014

President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, today emphasized the immense promise of agroforestry in enhancing productivity of land in sustainable manner. He also called for greater research in this field.

The President was speaking after inaugurating the World Congress of Agroforestry.

The President gave away Krishi Karman Awards to states excelling in different aspects of food production. He also presented World Agroforestry Congress awards to two Indian children. Progressive farmers from different States were also given awards.

Speaking on the occasion, Agriculture Minister, Shri Sharad Pawar informed that the Ministry of Agriculture, in consultation with Ministry of Environment and Forests, has developed the pioneering National Agroforestry Policy, and the same has just been approved by the Government of India.This will help farmers to gainfrom agroforestry, with facilitating credit and insurance, besides enhanced market access.

He further stated that “The magnitude of Agroforestry is evident from the fact that an estimated 1.2 billion rural people cur¬rently practise agroforestry across the world, and depend upon its products for sustaining their livelihoods. Agroforestry is playing a cardinal role in maintaining the natural resource base and increasing overall productivity in the rainfed areas in arid and semi-arid regions. There are ample evidences to suggest that biomass productivity, soil fertility improvement, soil conservation, nutrient cycling, microclimate improvement, and carbon sequestration potential of an agroforestry system is greater than that of an annual crop-based system. It has the potential to provide most or all the ecosystem services, such as hydrological benefits, micro-climatic modifications, nutrient recycling, agro-biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration.

“Agroforestry has been a way of life in India for centuries. It is also a viable alternative to meet the target of increasing vegetation cover to the national target of 33 % from the present level of less than 25% of the geographical area. However, despite its pervasive practice largely by smallholders, there are procedural or other bottlenecks that impede its large scale adoption. Also, although agroforestry has come off age as a scientific discipline, its impact on business and development sectors is still to be appreciated. True, the initiatives such as the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture and Greening India Mission have some focus on agroforestry, but much more needs to be done by the Government agencies.”

Minister of Environment and Forests, Dr. M Veerappa Moily informed that his “Ministry is already implementing Agroforestry programme in a limited way under the National Afforestation Programme and Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority. More thrust on agroforestry is being given in the recently launched Green India Mission, which envisages increasing the quality of forest cover over 5 million hectares of degraded forests and creating new forest cover over another 5 million hectares of land outside the forests. This includes a target of around 2.3 million hectare of landunder agroforestry through various support activities like raisingof nurseries and quality planting material, technology transfer, information dissemination, training and capacity building of the farmers etc. Through the Green India Mission, the carbon stocks are expected to get enhanced significantly and thus contribute to mitigation of adverse impacts of climate change.”

He emphasized that one of the most important requirements for promotion of agroforestry is to have an enabling environment and building cooperative partnership among different stakeholders like farmers, industries and financial institutions. “Creating viable industrial base for regular demand of agroforestry productsand buy back arrangements with the farmers will go a long way in success of this programme.” Dr. Moily added.

KRISHI KARMAN AWARDS

The President presented Krishi Karman Awards to Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Meghalaya and agriculture Ministers of other nine States for excellence in foodgrain production.

For total foodgrain production, Madhya Pradesh gets the award in large category (foodgrain production more than 10 million tonnes), Odisha in medium category (foodgrain production 1 to 10 million tonnes) and Manipur in small category (foodgrain production less than 1 million tonnes).

In individual foodgrain crops, Chhattisgarh gets the award for rice, Bihar for wheat, Jharkhand for pulses and Andhra Pradesh for coarse cereals.

Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura get commendation prizes for total foodgrain production. Maharashtra gets commendation prize for rice, Assam for pulses and Punjab and Haryana for rice and wheat.

MP:SS:CP awards (10.2.2014)
 

PIB, Aizawl

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