Bhopal: Chief Minister Kamal Nath has reiterated the state government’s commitment to transforming Madhya Pradesh into India’s Horticulture Capital. He said that the horticulture sector is a gateway to the prosperity of farmers. This is the future of the agricultural sector. He said that the credit potential estimated by the NABARD for the horticulture sector should be increased from 6 percent to at least 15 percent.

He said that a large patch of unutilized revenue land in Madhya Pradesh can be utilized for expansion of horticulture activities. He was releasing the State Focus Paper – 2020-21 at the State Credit Seminar 2020-21 organized by NABARD at Mantralaya here on Thursday.

The NABARD has estimated credit potential for Madhya Pradesh at 1,98,786 Crore. This is 13 percent more than that of last year’s 1,74,970 Crore. The Chief Minister stressed the need to approach the agriculture sector with a fresh vision and thinking. The entire scenario is changing. Earlier, millets were out of focus. Today they have gained prominence. The millets were meant for consumption by the poor population. Now high nutritive value makes them popular.

The Chief Minister said that NABARD has years of experience and intellectual capacity. Its use will be fruitful for the future. The Chief Minister said that NABARD will have to prepare plans for 2024-25. He said that today’s scenario would change after five years. The goals set today can be achieved easily, but the challenge of achieving new targets must be accepted in future.

The Chief Minister said that NABARD has made an unprecedented contribution in Madhya Pradesh with an important role in building agricultural infrastructure. The knowledge that NABARD has acquired will have to be harnessed in expanding its vision in the future. He said that the plans made for Madhya Pradesh can also be useful for the country.

The Chief Minister said that the biggest challenge is unemployment among the youth as they move from villages to cities. They have to be connected to emerging technologies and technical skills. He said that the agriculture needs modernization.

The Chief Minister said that NABARD will have to focus on the export of crops. Emerging markets within the agriculture sector need to be closely monitored. He said that NABARD should not use its expertise in routine jobs. It must pay attention to new farming techniques. Also give a thought to construction of warehousing and procurement infrastructure. Apart from this, also explore how new and useful infrastructures can be built. He said that the role of NABARD was limited to re-financing. Today it has changed with the changing scenario.