Shimla: Himachal Agriculture Minister directed officers to produce seeds in the state and not be dependent on other states for supplies.

The Agriculture Minister Virender Kanwar, in a Departments meeting here today, said that self-dependence for seed would not only help in providing better prices to farmers for their produces but would also facilitate in getting subsidy through direct benefit transfer on high yielding seeds, weeds and pesticides.

The agriculture minister said that so far now 25,740 quintals of maize, paddy and various types of vegetable seeds, fodder seeds of hybrid varieties and 1,29,000 quintals of wheat barley, barseem, pulses and oilseeds have been distributed to farmers by the Agriculture Department. 40846.45 quintal wheat seeds have been prepared in the state itself.

Kanwar directed the officials to develop an e-portal for the online transparency process and for submitting applications so that farmers do not have to visit the offices to solve their problems. Schemes being implemented by the Agriculture Department should be made aware through pamphlets, agricultural training camps and farmers fairs etc. so that farmers can take advantage of the schemes, he further added.

He said that farmers should also be made aware about soil testing, fertilizer and plant protection licenses etc.

Virendra Kanwar said that farmers in the state are abandoning traditional farming and adopting cash crops, due to which many traditional products have disappeared from the markets, which is a matter of concern. In order to bring this farming back into existence, the Indian traditional farming system is being promoted on a large scale by the Department of Agriculture.

Traditional farming scheme has been implemented in every district of the state under which farmers groups were formed at village and block level and farmers are being trained to practice traditional agriculture. He said that to encourage traditional farming in the state, farmers are being given a subsidy up to 85 percent in the purchase of certified high-quality seeds.

He said that to encourage agricultural activities in the state, youth should be trained and values of farming should be inculcated among children so that they adopt agriculture as a profession and do not have to go out of the state for employment.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.