Jaipur, Chief Minister Smt. Vasundhara Raje has said that the farmers of Rajasthan should be benefitted by the innovations and new experiments being practices in agriculture sector in the country and the world. "State government is committed to ensure that the farmers become progressive, take advantage of new technologies and thus be prosperous," she said.
Smt. Raje was addressing a function on the occasion of inauguration of a seed processing centre and a training centre for farmers at the Centre of Excellence in Dhindhol village near Bassi in Jaipur on Tuesday. She said that the farmers of the state could feel proud by practicing new methods and adopting techniques in their agricultural fields.
The CM said that the idea of unconventional farming conceived by her government in 2005 could get shape in Dhindhol in the form of olive and other crops. "We learnt about Israel doing well in agriculture, despite being a desert state, by way of adopting new techniques and then decided to make it possible for Rajasthan. After talking to the then Union Minister of Agriculture a team of Israeli experts was invited here, which gave valuable suggestions for Rajasthan according to its local geographical and environmental conditions.
Smt. Raje stated that when the first olive plant reached Rajasthan from Israel, it was taken as a funny thing. "However, now the same plant has become a tree. It has given shape to our idea of unconventional farming and the olive plants are now being sent from our nursery to Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and other states. Many progressive farmers are visiting the centre at Bassi," she said.
Talking about the necessity of certification of seeds the Chief Minister said that only error-free and certified seeds should reach the farmers. State government has put in place a system for certification of seeds and certification was needed even for exported seeds, she said.
Smt. Raje also criticized excessive use of chemical fertilizers in agriculture, particularly for horticultural produces. "The public does not like such crops as they cause lots of health problems. Farmers should adopt organic farming, at least in a part of their fields, for horticultural crops. You should also practice drip irrigation methods to save water," she appealed.
The CM informed the farmers about the river-linking project in the state and said that very soon positive results would be witnessed by all in the form of rise in underground water-level and reduction of dark zone regions. She said that her government has increased subsidy on solar water pumps, made allocations worth Rs 1,400 crore for wasteland development and promoted investments to the tune of Rs 1,000 for food processing. Bonus and additional premium above the minimum support prices too were announced for wheat, barley, pulses and oilseeds.
Prior to this, Smt. Raje visited the Centre of Excellence and saw the olive, capsicum, cherry tomato, strawberry, cucumber, gerbera flower and other crops being produced using Israeli techniques. She also inspected the bee-keeping and other practices at the centre. State Agriculture Minister Prabhulal Saini accompanied her.
During this event, Members of Parliament Shri Ramcharan Bohra and Shri Harish Meena, MLAs Lakshmi Narayan Meena, Shankar Lal Sharma and Jagdish Meena, former MLA Kanhaiya Lal Meena, Additional Chief Secretary Agriculture Ashok Sampatram, Principal Secretary Horticulture BK Meena, Secretary and Commissioner Agriculture Shri Kuldeep Ranka, sarpanch of Lalgarh village Ranjit Meena, other public representatives, progressive farmers, dignitaries and villagers were present.