New Delhi, Jan 4: Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah launched the portal developed by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED)and National Cooperative Consumers' Federation of India Limited (NCCF) for registration, procurement and payment of tur dal producing farmers in New Delhi today.
Shah addressed the national symposium organized on ‘Self-reliance in Pulses’. Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Arjun Munda, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Ashwini Choubey, Minister of State for Cooperation B. L. Verma and many other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
In his address, the Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that today we have taken such an initiative through the portal which will facilitate the farmers in selling tur dal by registering in advance through NAFED and NCCF and they will be able to get payment at MSP or more than MSP at market price through DBT. He said that with this beginning, in the coming days the prosperity of farmers, self-reliance of the country in the production of pulses and nutrition campaigns will be strengthened. With this, our campaign of crop pattern changing will gain momentum and there will also be changes in the areas of land reform and water conservation. He said that today's beginning is the beginning of bringing tremendous changes in the agriculture sector in the coming days.
Amit Shah said that today the country is not self-reliant in the field of pulses, but we have achieved self-sufficiency in green gram (moong) and gram (chana). He said that in an agricultural country like India, the availability of water is increasing and the different weather in different parts of the country is very useful for agriculture. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has put a big responsibility on the farmers producing pulses to make India ‘Atmanirbhar’ in the pulses sector by the year 2027. He expressed confidence that with the cooperation of farmers, India will become ‘Atmanirbhar’ in the field of pulses production before December 2027 and the country will not have to import even a single kilogram of pulses.
The Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that to make the country Atmanirbhar in the field of pulses, several meetings have been held with the Ministry of Cooperation, the Ministry of Agriculture and other parties in which the obstacles coming in the way of achieving this goal have been discussed. He said that many times farmers producing pulses did not get fair prices due to speculators or any other situation, due to which they suffered huge losses. Due to this, farmers did not like to cultivate pulses. Shri Shah said that we have decided that the farmer who registers himself with NAFED and NCCF even before production, his pulses will be purchased 100 percent at the Minimum Support Price (MSP). Shri Shah said that after registering on this portal, farmers will have laddus in both their hands. He said that if the price of pulses is higher than the MSP when the pulses crop arrives, then a scientific formula has been made to buy pulses from farmers at a higher price by calculating its average and this will never cause injustice to the farmers.
Amit Shah appealed to the farmers to register with NAFED and NCCF and it is the guarantee of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the government will buy the pulses of the farmers and farmers will not have to wander anywhere to sell it. He expressed confidence that the farmers of the country will leave no stone unturned in making the country Atmanirbhar. The Minister of Cooperation added that a large part of the country is still vegetarian and protein is very important for them, the only source of which is pulses. He said that the production of pulses has great importance in the country's fight against malnutrition. Pulses are also an important crop for land reclamation because the cultivation of pulses increases the quality of the land. He also said that pulses production requires less water and the falling groundwater level in many parts of the country remains a matter of concern for our future. If the groundwater level is to be maintained and increased, then such crops will have to be selected whose production requires less water.
The Minister of Cooperation said that earlier the farmers had a dilemma that if they produce pulses, they will not get a fair price, but now Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ended the dilemma of the farmers. If the farmers have registered, then it is the responsibility of NAFED and NCCF to purchase the entire pulses at MSP. He said that pulses, in a way, set up a mini fertilizer factory in farmersfield. Providing 30 to 40 kg of nitrogen in one hectare area is a big thing and this has been proved by many experiments. Shri Shah added that it is a good news for the farmers of states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Bihar that they can register their land size for pulses. They can be assured that their pulses will be purchased at MSP.
The Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation praised NAFED and NCCF for launching the portal in a very short time. He appealed to all the Farmers Producer Organisations (FPOs) and progressive farmers of the country to create awareness about the portal in all the areas where pulses can be produced. He said that farmers should be made aware that registration can be done in all languages through a very simple step. He said that after getting the acknowledgment of registration, NAFED and NCCF are bound to buy the pulses of the farmers at least at MSP and the option of selling their pulses in the market is also open to the farmers.
Amit Shah said that the portal has been designed in a very scientific manner, in which Aadhaar number is verified, unique ID of the farmer is created, it has been integrated with land records and integrated with Aadhaar based payment. There is a system of transferring the value of farmers produce directly to the bank accounts of farmers without any kind of corruption. He said that efforts are also being made to integrate this portal with warehousing agencies on a real time basis. In the coming days under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi a large part of warehousing is going to come in the cooperative sector. Each Primary Agricultural Cooperative Credit Society (PACS) is moving towards building a larger warehouse, this will solve the problem of shipping crops away. The Minister of Cooperation said that the government will at least give the MSP rate and if farmers get higher prices in the market, they are also free to sell their crops in the market. He appealed to the farmers to adopt pulses and make the country self-reliant in the pulses sector before January 1, 2028 so that India does not have to import even a single kilogram of pulses.
The Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that within a very short time, 537 PACS and many FPOs have joined this portal. 480 PACS and FPOs from Gujarat, 227 from Maharashtra, 209 from Karnataka, 45 from Madhya Pradesh and other states have also expressed their desire to join the portal. He said that in the last 9 years, during the tenure of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, there has been a huge change in food grain production. Shri Shah said that the total food grain production in the year 2013-14 was 265 million tonnes and in 2022-23 it has increased to 330 million tonnes. He said that if we analyze any one decade in the 75 years after independence, the biggest growth has been achieved by the farmers of the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji. He said that during this period there has been a huge increase in the production of pulses but we are not self-sufficient in three pulses and we have to be self-reliant in them.
Amit Shah said that it is a matter of satisfaction that today India is number one in the world in terms of production of pulses, both in area and production. India has 31 percent of the sowing area for pulses production in the world. India has 28 percent share in total pulses production. He said that the government has formed a cooperative for export, through which the aim of exporting pulses across the world will move forward and this responsibility rests on the farmers of the country. He said that to increase productivity, a cooperative has also been formed for the production of good seeds. In a few days we will put forward our project to increase the productivity of pulses and oilseeds seeds. We will also conserve and promote our traditional seeds. Along with this, to increase productivity, we have formed a multi-state seed modification committee on a cooperative basis. He also appealed to all PACS to register with the committee.
Shah said that in 2013-14, the country's farmers produced 19 million metric tons of pulses while in 2022-23 it was 26 million metric tons, but we should not be satisfied with this. He said that we have to create such a system in which by 2027 we can not only stop the import of pulses but also export it. The Minister of Cooperation assured the farmers and appealed to them to become members of this portal. He said that with such small efforts we will do a lot of work for the country and this will also make the farmers prosperous. Shri Shah said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had asked from the ramparts of the Red Fort to double the income of farmers. He said that the opposition parties make fun of it without looking at the figures. Giving figures, the Minister of Cooperation said that in 2014-15, the MSP of Tur was Rs 4350 and today the MSP of Tur is Rs 7000. He said that in Toor alone we have worked to increase the income of farmers by 65%. In the same period, the MSP of green gram (moong) was Rs 4600 which has become Rs 8,558 today, the MSP of black gram (urad) was Rs 4350 which has been increased to Rs 6950, the MSP of gram was Rs 3100 which has been increased to Rs 5440 and the MSP of lentils was Rs2950 which has increased more than two times to Rs 6425. Shri Shah said that now farmers can sow as much tur, urad and masoor as they want and their income will double without doing anything else.
The Home Minister and Minister of cooperation told the farmers across the country that no other government has increased the MSP so much in 10 years except the government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He said that the goal of cooperative movement is prosperity through cooperation and in this prosperity means prosperity of the farmer. He said that today Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has worked to strengthen the cooperative movement for the prosperity of farmers and farmers should have a clear message and understanding of this. Shri Shah said that today we need to be self-reliant in arhar, urad and lentils. To increase the quality and production of pulses, 150 good seed centers have been established with ICAR and IIPR, Kanpur. He said that many FPOs are also engaged in this work. 608 FPOs for primary cultivation of pulses and 123 such FPOs for secondary or inter cultivation have been registered.
Shah said that this revolution will not only increase nutrition and make us self-reliant, but will also reduce the prices of pulses for our consumers. That is why through NCCF and NAFED we have created the concept of ‘Bharat Dal’ and we are currently trying to deliver these pulses with the Bharat brand to all places across the country. In the coming days, the scope of Bharat Dal is going to be the largest. He added that Bharat Dal has become the best selling brand, that too within just 7 months. Its prices are also low and our farmers are directly benefiting from it. Along with this, we also have to increase the production of ethanol. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has set a target of mixing 20 percent ethanol with petrol and if we want to mix 20 percent ethanol, then we have to produce lakhs of tons of ethanol for this. He said that NAFED and NCCF are going to start registration of maize on the same pattern in the coming days. For farmers who sow maize, we will make arrangements for selling their maize at MSP directly to the ethanol manufacturing factory, so that there is no exploitation of the farmer. And the money will go directly into the bank account. He said that farmer’s field does not grow maize only but will become a well for producing petrol. Shri Shah added that the farmers of the country should save the foreign currency which is used for import of petrol. The Minister of Cooperation said that he wants to appeal to the farmers across the country that we should become Atmanirbhar in the pulses sector and also take the nutrition campaign forward.