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Farmers' income has increased several times in West Bengal: Agriculture minister

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Kolkata, Feb 12 (PTI) Income of the farming community in West Bengal has increased several times and there has been no incidence of suicide by farmers in the state, Agriculture Minister Sobhandeb Chatterjee told the assembly on Monday.

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Replying to the debate on the demand for appropriation budget of the Agriculture department for 2024-25, Chatterjee said that as per data by RBI and Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), the minister said both agencies had said income of farmers has increased.

As per RBI data, their income has increased three times, while the ICAR report said it had risen by 211 per cent since 2010-11.

He said that despite deprivation by the Centre on all fronts, the agricultural sector in West Bengal is surging ahead with a growing population with an increase in cultivable land and undertaking of development and welfare programmes by the government.

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Chatterjee said this growth is taking place by money spent from the state's own resources.

There also has not been a single instance of farmers committing suicide in West Bengal, he said.

The minister said West Bengal is number one in paddy production and potato growing, adding the state has also registered higher production of pulses and oilseeds as well.

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The minister also said the per capita debt of each farmer's family has also been lower in West Bengal when compared to states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka.

He said that the present Trinamool Congress government has introduced large-scale mechanisation in farming which is amply reflected in the increase in electricity usage by the farmers.

He said that the Centre is also not releasing the quota of fertiliser according to demand which is needed for farming.

West Bengal is also going ahead in sericulture cultivation, he said. PTI dc RG

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