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The Nitish Kumar government on Tuesday gave its nod for an ambitious "agriculture roadmap" aiming to ensure "at least one Bihari dish on the plate of every Indian" over the next five years at an estimated cost of nearly Rs 1.55 lakh crore. "The agriculture road map aims at bringing one Bihari dish on the plate of every Indian.
Execution of the road map will also help attaining desired objectives of food security, nutrition, inclusive development and increase in farmers' income", additional secretary, Cabinet Secretariat Coordination Department, Upendra Nath Pandey told reporters. The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, he said. "The roadmap includes programmes by as many as 12 departments, including Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Pisciculture, Revenue and Land Reforms, Water Resources, Power and Food Processing", Pandey said. "Many of these programmes are ongoing ones while some others will be kick-started soon. Stress will be laid on adopting such technologies which would meet the needs of the present while keeping an eye on the opportunities that the future may offer", he said. Other key decisions taken at the cabinet meeting include "approval for an expenditure of Rs 151.14 crore, for providing nutritious food, especially eggs and seasonal fruits at least once a week, to students under the mid-day meal scheme", Pandey said. Besides, the state cabinet gave its nod for an Act modelled on the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning)1978 in a bid to crack down on the menace of chit fund companies, he added. Against the backdrop of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a scheme was also approved wherein local bodies achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) status would be rewarded by the Chief Minister, the additional secretary said.