Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday said a radical change could happen in the agriculture sector by enhancing farmers' knowledge on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA).
"We want to combine MGNREGA with farming in such a way that farmers' production increases and they get better return in the market yet their cost of production goes down. There is lack of awareness about MGNREGA in villages. Making the farmers aware about scheme can bring about a radical change in the lives of the poor, farmers and the labourers," Adityanath said while inaugurating a MGNREGA Convergence Workshop here.
"In 2016-17, only 60-63,000 houses were built under the Pradhanmantri Awas Yojana. After our government came in March 2017, accommodation was provided to 8.85 lakh poor in rural areas," he added. Yogi Adityanath along with the chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, West Bengal and Sikkim are part of a Sub-Group formed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to coordinate policy approaches for agriculture and MGNREGA.
The first meeting of the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers was held at NITI Aayog in July. The next meeting of the Sub-Group is scheduled on August 31. Yogi Adityanath in the meeting in July had suggested use of MGNREGA funds in supplementing labour costs in agriculture and fencing of farm land to protect it from wild animals, etc.
In the meeting, it was also unanimously decided that all these issues required larger deliberations and wide range discussions with all stakeholders. In an attempt to take it forward, five regional meetings or workshops would be organised with one each in Patna, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Guwahati and New Delhi before August 15. There would be brain storming sessions to discuss with experts, farmers and farmer's representatives and other stakeholders along with state governments.