‘Farmers should be given loans at four percent’December 15th, 2010 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) A high-level working group on agriculture Wednesday recommended that agricultural loans be given at not more than four percent rate of interest and the minimum support price (MSP) be fixed at 50 percent higher than the cost of cultivation.The report of the working group, headed by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, was submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here Wednesday.
Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Punjab’s Agriculture Minister Sucha Singh Langah and Local Government Minister Manoranjan Kalia were also present.
The working group, constituted by the Prime Minister himself, has chief ministers of Punjab, Bihar and West Bengal as members. It was set up to recommend strategies for increasing agricultural productivity, including long-term policies to ensure sustained agricultural growth.
Other proposals include a comprehensive policy for extending insurance cover to all crops and livestock, to be funded by the central government.
It also suggested micro and macro-level reforms in agriculture sector.
Hooda said the group also recommended higher investment in power sector to ensure easy availability of energy. It also emphasised on increased investment in agricultural research to develop high yield variety of crops.
“Farmers should be provided inputs like quality seeds, fertilizers etc. One district in each state should be selected on pilot basis under micro irrigation and other experiments,” Hooda added.
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