NEED FOR ADEQUATE CREDIT SUPPORT TO FACILITATE ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT: SOMNATH
Gangtok, June 2: The Prime Minister, Dr. Man Mohan Singh, chaired the 53rd meeting of the National Development Council, held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on May 29, to discuss issues relating to food and Agriculture. Somnath Poudyal, Minister for Food Security & Agriculture Development and Cash Crop &Horticulture Development, Government of Sikkim led the State delegation. Among others present in the meeting were the Union Finance Minister Union Minister for Agriculture, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, other Union Ministers, Chief Ministers and Ministers from the various states and Union Territories.
The meeting was a follow up to the earlier meeting of the National Development Council held on 9th December 2006, in which the approach paper to the XIth Five Year Plan was discussed and growth strategy was finalized.
The Prime Minister, in his inaugural address, stressed the need for enhancing the growth rate of agriculture from 2%in the Xth Plan to 4% in the XI th Five Year Plan period. He mentioned the various suggestions made by the sub committee set up by the NDC on agriculture in the field of crop productivity, irrigation, marketing reforms including contract farming as also the need to vigorously develop new seed verities and agricultural technologies and their dissemination to the farmer.
Mr. Somnath Poudyal, Minister for Food Security & Agriculture Development and Cash Crop & Horticulture Development Food Security, while conveying the regrets of the Chief Minister of Sikkim for not being able to attend the NDC meeting, highlighted the various achievement of the state in the field of agriculture and horticulture. He mentioned that our state has been declared to be an organic state and highlighted the need for adequate credit support to facilitate entrepreneurship development. As also development of marketing infrastructure, post harvest handling and value addition. The successful transfer of any technology requires capacity development. He highlighted the need for expeditious improvement of the National Highway 31-A, as also the requirement of the state for rail and air connectivity. The need for modeling all central sectors schemes for the northeast region on a 90:10 funding pattern was also stressed.