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New Delhi: Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare minister Radha Mohan Singh on Tuesday said the  central government is committed for the prosperity and welfare of farmers and for this purpose a number of initiatives have been taken during last two and half year.

Within four years objective of “Water to every field” will be achieved, Singh said adding an improved irrigation facilities with long term irrigation fund and better management initiated by the NDA government will help achieve the target.

Addressing regional Editors Conference in Chandigarh, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Singh said that to ensure better prices for the produce of farmers the government is working for connecting all agriculture mandis with a national platform and by next year all the 585 mandis will be connected to a common single market where farmers would be able to sell their produce for better price, according to a PIB release.  He said that direct benefits transfer to farmers under various scheme will also be made possible in near future.

Singh said that the government is working for financial empowerment of the farmers through various ways.  The credit flow to the agriculture sector has been increased to Rs 9.0 lakh crore and to reduce the pressure of loan on farmers Rs 15,000 crore has been allocated for interest subvention.  He said the centre is already providing 5% interest subsidy to the banks out of 9% being charged by them for agriculture loan. Singh appealed to the state governments to provide remaining 4% from their exchequer so that farmers can get agriculture loan at 0%.

He announced that by next year about 14 crore farmers will get Soil Health Card and significant numbers will get the insurance cover. Singh said that his ministry has decided to set up 150 seed hubs in country to increase production of pulses. 

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