New Delhi | Paddy and wheat farmers have received nearly Rs 18 lakh crore in the last 10 years as Minimum Support Price (MSP) -- a 2.5-fold increase from the preceding decade before 2014, President Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday said, while emphasising the Centre's focus on making farming activities profitable.
Moreover, she said farmers producing oilseeds and pulses have received over Rs 1.25 lakh crore as MSP in the last 10 years of the current government.
In her first address to a joint sitting of the two Houses in the new Parliament building, Murmu said, "My government is laying stress on making farming more profitable. Our aim is to reduce the cost of farming while increasing profits." For the first time, Murmu said, the government has given priority to over 10 crore small farmers in the agricultural policy and schemes.
"In the last 10 years, farmers have received nearly Rs 18 lakh crore as MSP (Minimum Support Price) for paddy and wheat crops. This is 2.5 times more than the preceding 10 years before 2014," the President said.
"Previously, the government procurement of oilseeds and pulses crops was negligible. In the last decade, farmers producing oilseeds and pulses have received over Rs 1.25 lakh crore as MSP," she noted.
Highlighting other achievements of the government in the farm sector, Murmu said farmers have received over Rs 2.8 lakh crore so far under the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme (PM-KISAN).
Over the past 10 years, there has been a threefold increase in easy loans for farmers from banks.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, farmers paid a premium of Rs 30,000 and they have received a claim of Rs 1.5 lakh crore.
"It is our government that has formulated the agricultural export policy in the country for the first time. This has led to agricultural exports reaching up to Rs 4 lakh crore," Murmu said.
Regarding fertiliser sector, the President said more than Rs 11 lakh crore have been spent in the last 10 years to provide fertilizers to farmers at affordable prices.
The government has established more than 1.75 lakh Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samriddhi Kendra.
So far, around 8,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) have been formed.
The government is promoting cooperatives in agriculture and therefore, a Ministry of Cooperation has been established for the first time in the country.
"The world's largest Grain Storage plan has been launched in the cooperative sector. In villages where there are no cooperative societies, 2 lakh societies are being established," she said.
Schemes worth more than Rs 38,000 crore are being implemented in the fisheries sector, due to which fish production has increased from 95 lakh tonnes to 175 lakh metric tonnes. Inland fisheries production has increased from 61 lakh tonnes to 131 lakh tonnes.
Exports in fisheries sector has more than doubled from Rs 30,000 crore to Rs 64,000 crore.
For the first time in the country, livestock farmers and fishermen have been given the benefit of Kisan Credit Card. In the last decade, per capita milk availability has increased by 40 per cent.
The first free vaccination campaign is underway to protect animals from foot and mouth diseases. So far, more than 50 crore doses have been administered to animals in four phases.
On sugar sector, Murmu said, the government has done "unprecedented work in the field of ethanol." "The country has achieved the target of 12 per cent Ethanol blending. The target of 20 per cent ethanol blending is also going to be accomplished very soon. This will increase the income of our farmers," she said, adding that the government companies till now have procured ethanol worth more than Rs 1 lakh crore.
All these efforts will reduce dependence on foreign countries for the country's energy needs, the President said.
"Just a few days ago, oil production has started in a new block in the Bay of Bengal. This is a big achievement for the country," Murmu said.