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Trying to Address Farm Challenges- Gujarat Chief Secretary

Peanut Market News January 05, 2018

Trying to Address Farm Challenges- Gujarat Chief Secretary

The Gujarat government is taking measures to meet rural challenges, chief secretary JN Singh told ET on Friday. The government was focused on improving implementation of schemes related to irrigation, minimum support price and crop insurance for farmers.

Gujarat saw a tough fight in the recently-concluded assembly polls, with BJP winning only 7 seats more than what was needed for an absolute majority. BJP lost 13 seats in Saurashtra where distress of farmers was cited as the main factor.

Singh, however, said that the people of Gujarat chose the same government even after 22 years because of their "trust in Narendra Modi's leadership and impact of the state government's policies." 

"The minimum support programme for various crops, including groundnut and cotton, has been taken up by the government in a big way. Nearly 66 lakh quintals of groundnut has been procured at MSP. Storehouses are full, but we are ready to procure 50-60 lakh quintals of groundnut more on MSP. That will provide a lot of relief to farmers," Singh said. 

The state government was increasing cold storage capacities to tackle bumper produce of perishable crops. The state had announced procurement of key crops at MSP and waived interest on loans up to ?3 lakh for farmers just before the polls. Since market prices were not matching MSP, several groundnut farmers had pinned hopes on procurement which took time.

"Nearly Rs 2,700 crore has been given to groundnut farmers. Certainly, it has taken some time for implementation but the hassles have been sorted out now," Singh said. He added that there were challenges but the government was well equipped at both policy and implementation levels to face and solve them.

A 1983-batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer, Singh was appointed the chief secretary last year. 

Farmers' woes have been aggravated in regions that depend on the monsoon, especially Saurashtra and north Gujarat. Singh said projects launched by the PM to get Narmada water to remote districts in North Gujarat and Saurashtra are already bearing results. 

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/trying-to-address-farm-challenges-gujarat-chief-secretary/articleshow/62302723.cms

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