Lucknow: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday said in a bid to make the crops globally competitive a tissue culture laboratory should be set up at Acharya Narendra Dev University of Agriculture and Technology, Kumarganj (Ayodhya) to make quality planting material, planting of horticulture crops and disease free.
While presiding over the 168th meeting of the Board of Directors of the State Agricultural Produce Market Council, Yogi said, “The laboratory should be set up on a spacious campus of at least three hectares. Funds for this will be arranged by the Mandi Parishad.”
He said that keeping in mind the interests of the farmers the efforts being made by the State Agricultural Produce Market Council are commendable. “Mandis have a good contribution in revenue collection even after minimising the mandi fee. Against an income of Rs 614 crore in the financial year 2021–22, there was an income of Rs 1,520.95 crore in 2022-23. Besides, Rs 251.61 crore in revenue has already been collected in the first two months of the current fiscal. The increase in revenue collection from Mandis is commendable, even though the mandi fee is minimal,” he said.
The CM said CM Farmers Scholarship Scheme is proving very useful. “Currently, Rs 3,000 monthly scholarship is being provided to the students of agriculture and home science in 5 universities and 23 colleges. Agriculture and Technology University, Banda, Aligarh Muslim University, Rani Lakshmibai Central Agricultural University, Jhansi and Bundelkhand University, Jhansi and 37 other colleges should also be included in this so that more youths get the benefit of the scheme,” he said.
He said the outlets of organic and natural products are currently set up at the divisional headquarters. “They need to be extended up to the district headquarters. Outlets should also be opened in market committees. Set up an organic and natural market. Lab testing is essential for the verification and branding of organic and natural products of our farmers,” he said.
Yogi said, “Although laboratories are operated by the Food Safety and Drug Administration in Lucknow, Meerut, Varanasi and Jhansi, no lab is functional in the agricultural universities of the state. Therefore, testing labs should be set up by the Mandi Parishad in all the 4 agricultural universities of the state.”
He said that keeping in view the convenience of the farmers, the state government has constructed a large number of rural ‘Haats’ and modern farmer’s markets. “New ‘Haat Paiths’ and Kisan Mandis should be built in accordance with local needs. Keep them well-maintained. There should be space for street vendors here,” he said.
The CM directed that there should be a proper arrangement of lighting in the mandis. “Water logging should not exist. Farmers’ convenience should be given top priority and effective measures should be taken to protect crops. Make adequate arrangements for toilets and drinking water,” he said.
He said it is encouraging that hostels are being constructed in agricultural universities with the help of Mandi Parishad. “The construction work of these hostels should be completed in a time-bound manner keeping in view the quality. These under-construction hostels should be inspected by the Agriculture Minister,” he said.
Yogi said the land and buildings of the Agricultural Produce Market Council are unusable in various districts. “A solid action plan should be prepared for the systematic use of this land or building. In this way, the Council can also create a new alternative to its income,” he said.
He said several policy initiatives are being taken by the state government to promote agriculture and food processing. “Planned work is also being done to encourage natural farming. An ‘Agri Mall’ is being set up in the capital Lucknow to ensure that the farmers get a fair price for their produce, branding of the product and proper market. Please expedite action in this regard. Farmers will be able to sell their fruits and vegetables directly in Agri Mall,” he said.
The CM said to make the office block established by Mandi Parishad in the year 2006 for export promotion in Navi Mumbai more useful and it should be linked with the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) department.