The Centre has approved the formation of 40 FPOs (farmer producer organizations) in the bamboo sector to encourage small and marginal farmers in Assam, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha to establish bamboo cultivation.
In a reply to the Rajya Sabha on Friday, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar stated that the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has approved the formation of 40 FPOs for the bamboo sector in order to encourage small and marginal farmers to engage in bamboo plantation and connect them to the market value chain.
Assam has received 18 of the 40 FPOs, Maharashtra has received 13, Madhya Pradesh has received six, and Odisha has received three.
The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) has been named the implementing agency for 29 FPOs in these four states. NAFED has been tasked with carrying out 13 FPOs in Assam, seven in Maharashtra, six in Madhya Pradesh, and three in Odisha.
NERAMAC has been designated as the implementing agency for five FPOs in Assam, and NABARD has been designated as the implementing agency for six FPOs in Maharashtra.
The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has included certain bamboo products in the Delhi Schedule of Rates to encourage the use of bamboo in modern constructions (SoRs).
In response to a separate question about ‘Kisan Rail,’ Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw stated that the service has operated on 159 routes covering Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir since its launch on August 7, 2020.
Devlali, Sangola, Savda, Raver, Nagarsol, Yeola, Dahanu Road, Lingampet Jagityal, Farukkabad, Indore, Kherwadi, Lasalgaon, Niphad, Nuzvid, and Vizianagram are significant loading stations for ‘Kisan Rail’ services, while major unloading places are Agartala, Adarshnagar (Delhi), Changsari, Chitpur, Fatuha, Malda Town, Gour Malda, New Jalpaiguri, New Guwahati, Muzaffarpur, Jorhat and Shalimar.
Potential ‘Kisan Rail’ circuits are being identified in conjunction with the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, state agriculture and animal husbandry and fisheries departments, as well as local organisations and agencies, mandis, and other entities, according to the minister.
Darshana Jardosh, Union Minister of State for Textiles, responded to a question on organic cotton production in the country by saying that it increased to 8,10,934 tonnes in 2020-21 from 3,12,876 tonnes in 2019-20. During the 2016-17 fiscal year, production totaled 1,54,966 tonnes.
According to the minister, the ICAR-Central Institute for Cotton Research is doing research to create and perfect technology for organic cotton cultivation in the country.
In response to a question about the fortification of rice pilot project and its distribution through the PDS (public distribution system), Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, said the country has received 3.64 lakh tonnes of fortified rice through the pilot scheme.
He said the government has approved a three-year, centrally supported pilot plan on “fortification of rice and its distribution under the PDS” starting in 2019-20, with a total budget of 174.64 crore.
The pilot system focuses on 15 districts in 15 states, with one district per state being preferred. 11 state- Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jharkhand- have reported distribution of fortified rice in their identified districts under the pilot scheme, the minister said.