New Delhi [India], Mar. 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the annual 'Krishi Unnati Mela' at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute here on Saturday extended his invitation to the nation to participate in the "tandem of Indian cultivation and advancement."
From voicing the government's commitment to doubling farmers' income to the advantages of organic and solar farming, and proper treatment of waste material, the Prime Minister touched upon a number of subjects in his address.
Prime Minister Modi started off by extending his greeting and salutations to the farming community for their relentless efforts in maintaining record production of food grain, pulses and other articles. He then went on to congratulate Meghalaya for breaking a five-year record of yields during the year 2015-16.
Highlighting the need to support farmers, financially and otherwise, Prime Minister Modi said more than 11 crore soil health cards have been distributed in the country, and data from the same is being used to improve farmers' yields at minimum expense.
Additionally, he noted that under the Prime Minister's Irrigation Scheme, projects that were incomplete for decades are being completed with additional funds of up to Rs. 80,000 crore.
In a bid to revamp the supply chain, Prime Minister Modi said modern machinery and technology is being brought into the system.
"Operation Greens, which was announced in the Budget, will be largely beneficial to farmers, particularly those producing tomatoes, onions and potatoes," he said.
Assuring complete support from the government, Prime Minister Modi said the Centre and states are working towards supplying modern technology, farming techniques and improved produce.
In terms of minimum support price (MSP), Prime Minister Modi said cattle or machine expenses, the value of the seed, the value of the compost, all the costs of irrigation, and labour value will be accounted for.
He also highlighted efforts being taken to improve infrastructure, so that farmers do not have to go too far to sell their produce.
Prime Minister Modi further noted that the government aims to encourage Organic farming in the entire country under the traditional agricultural development plan, with the North East being developed as the Hub of the same.
Emphasising on the importance of solar farming, he said in the past three years, the government transported about three lakh solar pumps to farmers and approved a sum of about Rs. 2.5 crore.
"With solar panels on the edge of the farm, the farmer can tap power necessary to pumping water mechanism, and also sell extra units of electricity to the government," he added.
Highlighting the efforts taken towards proper waste management, Prime Minister Modi said farmers can also make money from residue generated out of coir, coconut shells or bamboo, thereby adhering to the concept of 'Waste to Wealth.'
However, Prime Minister Modi appealed to the nation to avoid the practice of burning crop residue, which has taken place in parts of the country in the recent past, as important nutrients in the soil get damaged, apart from causing severe pollution.
He also stressed that several efforts are being taken to improve financial assistance to farmers through cooperative societies and other financial institutions, thereby ensuring that they never fall short of credit.
On a related note, the Krishi Unnati Mela is aimed at creating awareness about the latest technological developments in the agriculture and allied sectors among farmers.
Pavilions on ways to double farmers' income, live demonstrations on micro-irrigation, wastewater utilisation, animal husbandry and fisheries, seeds, fertilisers, and pesticides are among the major attractions of the fair.(ANI)