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BW Businessworld

Rajasthan To Get Rs 4,400 Crore Of Investments In Agriculture

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje urges farmers in the state to take up new crops and do away with those requiring heavy use of water

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The Rajasthan government on Thursday (November 10) signed 38 MoUs worth Rs 4,400 crore in the agriculture sector and allied businesses like animal husbandry, fisheries and agro tourism, creating potential employment for more than 17,000 people.

"We want to reduce the gap between farmers and industrialists with GRAM and would like our farmers to become farm-entrepreneurs," Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said at the Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet 2016 (GRAM).

Among the investors, TAFE (Tractor and Farm Equipment) is going to invest Rs 769 crore, Mahindra and Mahindra will invest Rs 503 crore, Janani Foods plans to spend Rs 400 crore and Baba Ramdev's Agro Industries has allocated Rs 10 crore for projects.

"We would like to take down GRAM to divisional level," she added.

The chief minister told BW Businessworld that she was happy with the size of investment projects that have been proposed.

She said the government will discuss the idea of setting up a mega food park with Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali group.

Talking to reporters, Raje said that the state is going to encourage farmers to take up new crops and do away with water-consuming crops such as wheat and groundnut as water is scarce in Rajasthan, accounting for only 1.6 per cent of national availability.

Union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu said at the event: "Every state needs to focus on the growth of farmers and agriculture. Only then the country will grow in real sense."

He said he will try to come up with a concept of Smart Villages like Smart Cities for the overall development of the country.

On newer technology in agriculture such as plasticulture, Neelkamal Darbari, principal secretary of agriculture in Rajasthan, said that if reused and recycled properly, plastic can play a vital role in water handling, storage, conservation as well as transportation.