USD 37-mn grant for sustainable agriculture project

New Delhi,  The government has received a grant-in-aid of USD 37 million (about 250 crore) to undertake a project on sustainable agriculture.

"For the first time, Global Environment Facility (GEF) has approved the project related to Ministry of Agriculture on the subject 'to obtain revolutionary change on the strategies and methodologies for sustainable agriculture in India'," an official statement said. 

The project would be implemented in various parts in five states -- Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa and Mizoram.

"A sum of USD 37 million would be incurred on this project which India has achieved in the form of grant-in-aid. This project will be implemented by the Agriculture Departments of the states within the span of seven years," the statement said.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided USD 14.5 billion in grants and mobilised USD 75.4 billion in additional financing for almost 4,000 projects.

Inaugurating a national workshop organised on Indian Green Agricultural Project, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said the Indian agricultural sector is facing a number of challenges.

"On one hand, there are challenges to feed a growing population, on the other hand, our farmers are facing challenges due to the limited availability of natural resources along with increasing pressure on agricultural land," the statement quoted him as saying.

In spite of these challenges, he said the government has resolved to double the incomes of farmers within a span of five years and is working in a fast track in this direction.