By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, June 18: Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh today exhorted State Agriculture officials to prepare annual action plans religiously and execute them.
Singh was reviewing different schemes and programmes of Agriculture and allied departments in presence of Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal, Minister for Agriculture Atul Bora, Minister for Fisheries Parimal Suklabaidya and senior officials of Central and State governments.
The Union Agriculture Minister urged the officials to put in more efforts for welfare of farmers and to work in mission mode to step up agricultural production with a view to double the income of farmers. “The agriculture scerio is going through difficult times and to overcome it, more efforts have to be put in by the officials so that the benefits of different schemes percolate to the agriculture fields vis-a-vis the farmers,” he added.
“Agriculture officials have to go to the districts to prepare the action plans. If we can come all the way from Delhi to Guwahati, then the officials in Dispur have to go to the districts to assess the ground reality and prepare the annual action plan by meeting the requirements,” he said.
The State Agriculture director had to face the ire of the Union minister after he fumbled over the mes of some schemes and their implementation in the State. The minister asked the director to “do homework” before such review meetings.
The minister pointed out that there can be no excuses for officials about delay in getting funds from the Ministry because “as per the direction of our Prime Minister, funds go straight to the coffers of the State after vote on account within 24 hours.”
Singh urged the officials to adopt latest technologies vis-a-vis mobile app, smart phones and video conferencing, instead of doing work manually to update data from the fields on a regular basis. He called for application of bio-metrics to induce proper ‘work culture’ to ‘bring in desired changes in our work approach’.
The Union Agriculture Minister asked the officials not to “sit tight” by just sending a proposal or utilization certificate to the ministry but to “take things to the logical end by taking up follow up action”. “Just sending proposals or UCs won’t do. You have to pursue matters in right earnest and get things done. You have to think of the farmers as members of your family. With that positive mindset you can bring about transformation in their lives and bolster the economy of the country as a whole,” he added.
Singh further said the government is in progress to set up an agri-research institute in Assam on the lines of Delhi-based Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI).
State Agriculture minister Atul Bora said that the State has set a goal of bringing 14 lakh hectare presently under mono-cropping to double-triple cropping by 2022.