S.V. Nagchan, Director of ICAR- National Research Centre for North Eastern
Region, Barapani, Dr. P.K. Pandey, Dean College of Fisheries, Dr. B.C. Deka,
Director ATARI, Zone 6, the Scientist community present on this occasion,
Friends from Media, ladies and gentlemen,
Today, on this occasion of the
Inauguration of the KVK, West Tripura, I am very pleased to be with you in this
Holi land blessed by Goddess Tripureshwari. As you all know, Tripura is the
second smallest state of the country after Sikkim with 73.8 percent of the
population of the state living in the villages. Nearly 60 percent of the state
is under Forest cover and another 59.9 percent is hilly area and only 24
percent of the total land area in cultivable. Of the cultivable land area also
only 42 percent is irrigated. This means that the village based agricultural
activities and the promotion of cottege industries is the only viable means of
livelihood of the people of this state.
The Government of India is committed to
the growth and development of the entire North Eastern region of the country
and we firmly believe that the second green revolution will have to come from
the eastern region of the country in which the north-eastern states will have
to play a key role. Only then, the all-round development of the country in
general and the agricultural development in particular shall be possible.
Today, I am very pleased to inaugurate
this Krishi Vigyan Kendra, in western Tripura. The Government has sanctioned 7
KVKs for the state of Tripura of which 5 are already functional and with this
inauguration today 6 KVKs will become operational in the state and one more
will also be operational soon. In addition, the site selection committee is
also visiting the state for the selection of site for the 8th
KVK. With this, all the districts in the state shall have a KVK each. I am
confident that all the KVKs will realise their responsibilities and the staff
working in them will work hard to fulfil the mandates of the KVKs and fulfil
the aspirations of the people of the state. The KVKs are expected to discharge
the following responsibilities;
To demonstrate the latest agricultural
technologies to the farmers as well as extension workers of State Departments
of Agriculture/Horticulture/ Fishery/ Animal Science/ NGOs to reduce the gap
between the technology generation and its adoption by the farmers.
To test and verify the technologies under
prevailing socio-economic conditions of the farmers with a view to study the
constraints and to modify the technologies to make them appropriate for the
Training and capacity building of the
practising farmers/ farmwomen, rural youth and field level extension
functionaries in various dimensions by following the methods of “Teaching by
doing” and “Learning by doing’.
To establish knowledge bank of the
agricultural technologies and related information, taking full advantage of the
Information and communication Technologies (ICT), involving extension media,
radio, and television, mobile APPs, SMS and Agricultural Information based
All these have now become part of the
Extension activities of the KVKs, which have the greatest responsibility of
realising the dream of the Government and the Honourable Prime Minister of the
Country, to double the income of the farmers by 2022 for which all of us are
The Government is committed to provide
at least 1 KVK in all the districts of the Country. The total number of KVKs in
the country have now become 668, which was 637 about 2.5 year ago. Our
Government have opened 31 KVK’s in last 2.5 years. There are 78 KVKs in the
north-eastern states all of which have very important role to play in ensuring
rapid development of the agricultural sector of the entire region.
With these objectives in mind, the
Government has created 3 new ATARIs in the country, thus taking the number of
ATARIs from 8 to 11. Three new ATARIs have been created with the headquarters
in Pune, Patna and Guwahati.
During the Union Budget this year it has
been decided to equip the 648 KVKs of the country with mini soil test labs. All
the KVKs have already been provided by the soil test kits by the Government.
The staff strength of the KVKs has been
increased from earlier 16 to 22 at present.
KVKs are playing a
pioneering role in the area of front line Extension in the Extending various
Agricultural Technologies amongst farming community and the state line
departments. During past year (2016-17) as many as 48,983 training programmes
were organized through which 13.21-lakh farmers and extension personnel
training courses organized for 1.74 lakh rural youth.
Capacity development programmes
were conducted for 1.042 lakh extension personnel, out of which 22,889 (22%)
were women participants.
KVKs organized 4.69 lakh
extension programmes with 198.67 lakh participants for creating awareness among
farmers about improved technologies and to provide timely advisory.
I am very happy to inform
you that the Government of India is giving special focus on the adoption of Integrated
Farming Systems (IFS) model of Agricultural Development in the country and
that this model is already working very well in the north-eastern states
Rubber, Kathal (Jack Fruit)
& Litchi are very commercial crops of Tripura. In the area of Fisheries,
also Tripura has done very well. Tripura is able to meet 75% of the demand of
the fish on its own. I am sure, in coming years, the state will not only meet
its own demand but will also become surplus in many agricultural commodities.
Government is committed
towards doubling the farmers’ income in next 5 years’ period. To achieve this
goal, the union budget this year has laid major focus towards integrated
agricultural development. Key focus areas of the Government are; making
available agricultural credit at easier terms to the farmers, ensuring
availability of the quality seeds and other essential inputs, creating
irrigation infrastructure, improving soil health through distribution of soil
health cards, creating market network through E-NAM and ensuring remunerative
price for the farmer’s produce.
I am happy to inform you that, the total
area sown under wheat this year is higher by 7.71 percent, pulses by 12.96
percent and oilseeds by 10.65 percent as compared to previous year for which
major credit goes to our farmers.
I am pleased to inform all of you that,
due to the favourable monsoon this year, according to
II Advance Estimates, we are set to achieve highest ever food grain production
this year (271.89 Million tonnes) which is 6.94 million tonnes higher
than the previous best of 265.04 million tonnes achieved during 2013-14. The
production this year is higher by 14.97 million tonnes as compared to the
average production of previous 5 years (2011-12 to 2015-16). As compared to
last year, which was a drought year, the total agriculture production is higher
by 20.41 million tonnes.
To make sure that the benefit
of the developments in science reach our farmers, a new scheme Mera Gaon
Mera Gaurav was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of the country.
Under this scheme, the scientists of all ICAR Institutes have been linked with
the farmers. Teams consisting of 4 scientists adopt 5 villages each and share
the new agricultural technologies and knowledge with the farming community.
During last 1 year our scientists visited 10,712 villages and provided advisories
to the farmers. Our scientists like our defence forms are giving dedicated
service to the nation by reaching out to the farmers even in the remote
India is a village-based
country with over 6.38 lakh villages. We have nearly 138 million households
with 85 percent being marginal (67%) and small (18%) households. Over 96
percent of the Tripura farmers are marginal and small farmers. Such farmers
are more vulnerable and need the correct technical information on the
agricultural technologies the most. Even though, most of the technologies
developed by our scientists are scale neutral, yet, I would ask my
scientists to give higher priorities to develop appropriate technologies for
the benefit of the farmers of these vulnerable categories.
Our scientists through their
dedicated efforts have been able to bring, green revolution, white revolution
and blue revolutions in the country. Our food grain production since 1951 has
increased by 5 times, horticultural production by 9.5 times, fish production by
12.5 times, milk production by 7.8 times, egg production by 39 times. This has
affected our food and nutritional security favourably. These achievements of
our agricultural scientists have earned wide national and international recognition.
Under the Soil Health cards
scheme of the Government, the target set for Tripura was 0.32 lakh samples per
year during 2015-16 and 2016-17 which has been achieved by the state. A total
1.81 lakh soil health cards were to be distributed among the farmers of the
state of which only 0.78 lakh soil health cards could be distributed so far.
The Govt. of India had allocated Rs. 100.30 lakhs for the activity of which
only 41.09 lakhs could be utilised by the state government. An outstanding
Rs. 59.21 lakhs still needs to be utilised by the state Government. The
Government of Tripura is requested to take urgent steps to utilise this amount
also and distribute remaining soil health cards among the farmers of the state
on an urgent basis.
Under the soil health
management scheme, an amount of Rs. 78.80 was provided for the establishment,
during last 2 years, of 1 mobile lab, 1 stationary lab and 5 soil portable
testing units. Although the amount has been utilised by the State, the progress
report on the establishment of these labs has not been submitted by the state
government to the central government. During the year 2016-17 the state
government was allocated a budget of Rs. 356.93 lakhs to establish 1 mobile
lab, upgrade 2 stationary labs, establish 100 additional mini soil testing
units and train 32 state govt. employees in these aspects, of which only Rs. 78.8
lakhs has been spent by the state. I again urge the state government to
expedite the activity so that the farmers of the state are benefited from the
Under the scheme More
Crop per Drop, the Government had provided d an amount of Rs. 2 crores to
the State Govt. to create basic infrastructure for irrigation in 444 ha area.
For this activity also, the state Government is yet to submit the progress
report. Pending the receipt of the progress report and the utilisation
certificate, it may not be possible to release further amount on the account to
Under Pradhan Mantri Krishi
Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), the state was provided an amount of Rs. 1.55,
crores during 2015-16 also which are year to be spent by the state neither any
intimation has been submitted to the Union Government in this regard. Due to
the lack of application of the concerned state department, the benefit of such
an important scheme is not reaching the farmers I would like to draw the
attention of the Government on this vital aspect. As regards the Rajya Krishi
Bazar (State Agriculture Market), also the state has to amend its Mandi Act
Under Paramparagat Krishi
Yojana (PKY), amounts worth Rs. 356.90 and Rs. 32.12 lakhs respectively
were released to the state during 2015-16 and 2016-17 out of which the state is
yet to spend n amount of Rs. 10-2.94 lakhs due to which the progress of the
scheme is not as expected.
For the implementation of
the E-NAM scheme, the state governments are required to make necessary
amendments in their Mandi Acts and incorporate certain new provisions. These
provisions include, electronic trading, unified levying of Mandi fee and
issuing integrated licence to the traders. The Tripura Government has not made
these amendments so far neither any proposal to link the state Mandis under
E-NAM scheme has been received from the state government. Due to this reason,
none of the Mandis from Tripura has so far been able to link with E-NAM.
Government of Tripura can join
the E-NAM scheme by incorporating these amendments, which can work as catalysts
in doubling the income of the farmers of the state.
In Tripura, 18000 hectors inland area is covered under water, It
has 1200 KM river and canal length, 5000 big ponds and 13000 hectors small
ponds. As such, state has great scope of fish cultivation. Though, fish
production in this state has grown at the rate of 26 % during year 2007-08 but,
during last 2 year it has gone down to below 2 %. The national average of fish
growth is around 6.2 %. Therefore, the state has to make serious efforts to
increase the growth in fish production atleast upto national level.
Under various schemes of the Fisheries Department of the Ministry
of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, the state of Tripura
was provided Rs. 241.24 lakhs during 2013-14, Rr 54.89 lakhs during 2014-15 and
Rs. 361.16 lakhs during 2015-16 and again Rs. 867.88 lakhs during 2016-17. It
is hoped that the Fisheries Development activities pick up the desired pace and
the farmers of the state are benefitted adequately from the scheme.
Agriculture is the state
subject. The commitments of the state government towards agriculture
development is essential. Our combined efforts in this direction will help us
to realise the Lab-to-Land initiative of our Hon’ble Prime Minister.
Since Tripura is a predominantly forest driven economy, the cooperation of the
forest ministry is also key in this regards.
This state inhabits 266 species of medicinal plants, which needs
to be exploited for their medicinal and economic benefits.
ii) The productivity of the rice, wheat, maize, pulses, sugarcane,
cotton, jute, oilseeds and potato is very good in the state of Tripura.
Potential fruit species are mango, pear, orange and jackfruit, coconut etc.
iii) There is huge potential for fisheries development in the state.
iv) Livestock farming is an integral part of the agricultural economy
of the region. Efforts are required to develop the indigenous animal resources
for developing in to organic based production systems.
v) Despite being large producer of Litchi, the benefits of Litchi
farming do not reach Tripura farmers. The Litchi produced in Tripura goes to
Bangladesh for processing and the juice is imported into the country, which
needs urgent correction.
It is my firm belief that our KVKs will take more
serious efforts to take the new agricultural technologies amongst the farmer’s field,
which will not only enable us to achieve the food and nutritional security of our
people and double the incomes of our farmers in the targeted manner but also
help the country in becoming a major exporter of the agricultural commodities.
I would urge the KVKs to upload all the essential and required information on
the KVK portal which could be used by the farmers to solve their problems and
improve their incomes. Let’s us work unitedly to make our country a prosperous