Staff Reporter, Bhopal Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that farmers should be given rights to sell their produce in the country and abroad where they find fair prices for their agriculture produce. Imposing ban on export of farm produce is not proper.
Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan was addressing the inaugural function of three-day International Horti Expo-2013 here today. Agriculture Minister Dr. Ramkrishna Kusmaria was specially present on the occasion. Chief Minister Shri Chouhan shared his experiences of horticultural experiments made at his farm. Shri Chouhan said that nothing can be better for livelihood than agriculture. He exhorted farmers to change agriculture scenario to create new history. The government will extend every possible assistance to them.
Side by side with traditional farming, farmers should also start cultivating horticulture crops, fruits and flowers. The State Government is committed to making agriculture profitable. He said that till few years ago, agriculture was difficult in Madhya Pradesh. Farmers had to face a lot of problems regarding power, water etc. Madhya Pradesh was ridiculed when it used to demand wheat from the Centre due to short production in the state. Existing State Government gave priority to irrigation. About seven years ago, only 7 lakh hectare used to be irrigated in the state, which has been increased to 21 lakh hectare now.
Area under irrigation will be increased to 24 lakh hectare next year. Work on project to take Narmada water to Kshipra River has been started to turn Malwa green. Fields will aso be irrigated by linking rivers in future in Chambal, Vindhya and Bundelkhand regions. Problem of power is on the verge of solution. Every village will get 24-hour power supply from May-end this year. Agriculture production is increasing fast in the state. Record wheat and paddy production has been registered in Madhya Pradesh. He said that now farmers should also pay attention to horticulture crops alongwith traditional farming. Every possible effort is being made to ensure that farmers get fair prices for their produce. Chief Minister Shri Chouhan said that farmers should diversify their crops and change crop pattern, which will lead to increase in their income. Horticulture crops should be grown with scientific method to earn better profit. Farmers should form groups for horticulture farming. Country will move ahead when farmers and agriculture move ahead.
Agriculture Minister Dr. Ramkrishna Kusmaria said that horticulture crops’ growth rate is 15 percent in Madhya Pradesh. Horticulture hub is being developed at Pawarkhera in Hoshangabad district. Besides, excellent horticulture nurseries are being established in seven divisions. Arrangement of marketing is being made for flower growing farmers. The state has received Union Government’s Krishi Karman Award for achieving 18.9 percent agriculture growth rate. Commissioner Agriculture Production Shri Madan Mohan Upadhyay said that India is the second largest producer of fruits, flowers and vegetables.
There is immense potential in horticulture sector in the state. MP Agro Chairman Shri Ramkishan Chauhan, CII’s State Coordinator Shri R.S. Goswami and Commissioner Agriculture Production Shri Madan Mohan Upadhyay also addressed the function. At the programme, 47 companies signed MoUs with farmers in the presence of Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The Chief Minister released books pertaining to horticulture published by CII. The Chief Minister also inspected an exhibition put up at Horti Expo.
At the outset, Director Horticulture Shri Anurag Shrivastava delivered the welcome address. Chief Secretary Shri R. Parasuram, CII Western Region Chairman Sushri Charu Mathur, Principal Secretary Horticulture Shri Sudesh Kumar, MP Agro’s Managing Director Shri Rakesh Shrivastava and a large number of farmers were present on the occasion. As many as 85 companies are participating in the three-day expo. Live demonstrations are being held at the expo of latest horticulture techniques. Seminars are also being held to apprise farmers of use of mechnisation, insurance, protected farming, seeds and fertilisers and benefits of horticulture.