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Modi government launches three web portals for farmers

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New Delhi,(IANS): Three web portals: Participatory Guarantee System, India, Soil Health Management System and Fertilizer Quality Control System, were launched on Wednesday by Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh for the benefit of farmers.

Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) portal “www.pgsindia-ncof.gov.in” has been launched to promote domestic organic market growth and enable small and marginal farmers to have easy access to organic certification, a decentralized organic farming certification system,” the agriculture minister said while launching the portal.

The portal has been developed for registration, approval, documentation, record of inspection, and certification for farmers.

Farmers will browse through databases of organic producers to get information about the area under PGS certification with due traceability.

Since it is a group certification program, individual farmers are given certificate as members of a group.

Soil Health Management System (SHMC) will provide assistance to state governments to issue “soil health cards” and also develop a database to improve service delivery.

“It provides improved and targeted guidelines to manage deficiencies and scientific expertise in diagnostic and management of nutrient deficiencies,” he said.

Soil Health Card portal (www.soilhealth.dac.gov.in) has been developed for registration of soil samples, test results of soil samples, and generation of soil health cards along with recommendation of fertilizers.

The SHC promotes uniform adoptions of codes. The system has a sample tracking feature and will provide alerts to farmers about sample registration,” Singh said while launching the portal for SHMC.

The scheme has been approved for implementation during the 12th plan with an outlay of Rs.568.54 crore. For 2015-16 fiscal, Rs.96.46 crore have been allocated.

The scheme will be implemented on 50:50 sharing basis between the central and state governments, the minister added.

Similarly, Fertilizer Quality Control System (FQCS) is aimed to ensure availability of quality fertilizers to farmers.

Launching the portal “www.fqcs.dac.gov.in“, the minister said, “It has been developed for sample collection, testing and generation of analysis reports. The FQCS will help in online tracking of the sample status.”

“In the first phase, the system will be implemented in central coding office and its three regional fertilizer control laboratories (RFCLs). Subsequently, the system will be extended to all state quality control laboratories. ”

“At present, there are 78 notified fertilizer quality control laboratories in the country,” Radha Mohan Singh said.

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Madhya Pradesh Waives off $5.3Bn in Farm Debt

The western state of Maharashtra and northern state of Uttar Pradesh, both ruled by the BJP, announced similar loan waivers last year.

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India, farmers, farm
Farmers march towards the parliament house during a rally to protest soaring farm operating costs and plunging prices of their produce, in New Delhi, India. VOA

The new leader of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is to waive up to $5.3 billion of farm loans, becoming the latest area to offer relief ahead of a national election next year as farmers reel from losses caused by falling crop prices.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party lost the central state to Congress last week dealing Modi his biggest defeat since he took office in 2014 and boosting the opposition ahead of the vote next year.

Congress leader Kamal Nath, who became chief minister of the state on Monday, decided to write off farmers’ loans up to 200,000 rupees, according to a notification.

farmers, Bank
Police try to stop farmers during a protest demanding a better price for their produce on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. VOA

Protests on the rise

Farmers’ protests have been rising in past months due to the fall in crop prices and a rise in the cost of diesel and fertilizer.

Nearly 3.4 million farmers will benefit from the loan waiver, which is likely to cost between 350 billion rupees ($4.9 billion) to 380 billion rupees ($5.3 billion), Rajesh Rajora, the state’s principal secretary for agriculture, told Reuters.

Also Read: Arvind Kejriwal Accuses Modi Government of Betraying Farmers

The western state of Maharashtra and northern state of Uttar Pradesh, both ruled by the BJP, announced similar loan waivers last year. (VOA)