The projects have been sanctioned under the dedicated Rs 5,000-crore Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) set up under NABARD in 2019-20 to facilitate states in mobilizing resources for expanding coverage of micro irrigation.
Under MIF, funds are given to states at a concessional rate of interest in order to promote micro irrigation.
Addressing a webinar, Tomar advised states to access MIF for incentivizing micro irrigation through an additional (top up) subsidy over and above the one available under the Per Drop More Crop (PDMC) component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY) for achieving the target.
He also asked states to access the fund for innovative integrated projects, including projects in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, depending on state specific requirements to bring additional area under micro irrigation PDMC, an official statement said.
"The Steering Committee of MIF and NABARD has sanctioned projects of Rs 3,805.67 crore for covering 12.53 lakh hectare under MIF," the statement quoted the minister as saying.
The government has set a target of covering 100 lakh hectares of area under micro irrigation in five years.
It has been implementing PMKSY-PDMC since 2015-16 for enhancing water use efficiency in the agriculture sector.
"During the last five years, an area of 47.92 lakh hectares has been covered under micro irrigation in the country which includes 11.72 lakh hectares for the year 2019-20 which is a significant achievement," Tomar said.
Stressing that micro irrigation not only increases water use efficiency but also the productivity of the crops, Tomar said there is a need for adopting a holistic approach for more production from unit areas by improving soil health, reduction in input costs, enhancing crop productivity and increasing farmers' awareness for benefiting the farming community.
He also said that the integrated and concerted efforts of various stakeholders in a "mission mode" would help in achieving the targets and bringing more coverage under micro irrigation for the benefit of the farming community.
Tomar called upon the state governments to come forward to achieve the target coverage of micro irrigation for enhancing water use efficiency in agriculture which would contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call of making India self-reliant through self-reliant agriculture.
Ministers of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Chaudhary, NITI Aayog Member Ramesh Chand and Additional Secretary of Agriculture Ministry Alka Bhargava were also present for the webinar.
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