Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said there is a need to increase the share of farm sector in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 50 per cent from the current 14 per cent and stressed on balanced use of fertilisers to protect soil health as well as boost crop yields. Tomar also urged farmers not to burn crop residues as it affects solid health and leads to air pollution. He asked them to take advantage of various Government programmes to deal with stubble burning. Addressing a conference for awareness of fertiliser application among farmers, Tomar said the share of agriculture in the country’s GDP is currently 14 per cent, but this is not enough. “Can we increase this to 50 per cent of our GDP?” he added.
Tomar said the productivity and production of all kharif (summer-sown) and rabi (winter-sown) can be enhanced substantially through proper use of fertilisers in right quantity and as per the soil conditions. The balanced use of fertilisers would also boost farmers’ income, he added. “We have also been focusing on soil health and already distributed 8 crore soil heath cards to farmers,” he said. The Minister told farmers that excessive use of fertilisers would destroy agriculture fields. He also spoke about the need for more usage of micro-nutrients to improve soil health. Tomar highlighted that the Centre has fixed the minimum support price (MSP) of crops at least 1.5 times of production cost and is also providing Rs 6,000 per year to around 14 crore farmers under the PM-Kisan schem . He said about 8 crore farmers have already got benefit under the Rs 87,000 crore PM-Kisan scheme.