With the inclusion of new technology, machinery, research and improved hybrid seeds in agriculture, desired success can be achieved to benefit the farmers, said state Agriculture Minister Chandra Kumar
Agriculture Minister Chandra Kumar stated that a robust and modern irrigation system has the potential to bring prosperity to the agriculture sector in Himachal Pradesh. He presided over the state-level conclave on the 'Agriculture Infrastructure Fund scheme' organised by the Department of Agriculture.
Kumar emphasised the importance of incorporating new technology, machinery, research, and improved hybrid seeds in agriculture to achieve desired success and benefit farmers. He highlighted the immense potential for capital investment in the agricultural sector and encouraged youth to adopt the latest agricultural techniques for a better livelihood.
Through the Agricultural Infrastructure Fund, a three percent interest rebate is provided on loans up to Rs two crore at a maximum interest rate of nine percent for the development of agricultural infrastructure in the state. Kumar stressed the need to simplify the process of delivering the benefits of the scheme to beneficiaries, ensuring single-window approval.
He emphasised that small, needy, and poor farmers should easily access the benefits of the 'Agriculture Infrastructure Fund' scheme, saving them time and money. There is also a need to increase the financial assistance for projects under the Agricultural Infrastructure Fund to ensure practical benefits reach the people.
KR Meena, Director of Agricultural Infrastructure Fund at the Union Agriculture Ministry, highlighted that effective implementation of the scheme has the potential to bring revolutionary changes to the agriculture sector.
He provided details about the scheme, stating that Rs 925 crore has been allocated to Himachal Pradesh under the Agricultural Infrastructure Fund. A total of 599 applications have been received, with 438 applications verified. Out of these, 324 applications worth Rs 221 crore have been approved by various banks, and Rs 67 crore has been provided to the beneficiaries.