New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the farmers across the country during the valedictory session of the National Summit on Agro and Food Processing in Anand, Gujarat via video-conferencing.
The summit was organized to urge farmers to focus on natural farming as the experts shared all requisite information detailing its benefits. The event was attended by farmers across the country including the farmers who connected live through central institutes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Krishi Vigyan Kendras, and ATMA (Agricultural Technology Management Agency) network in states.
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Highlights of PM Modi’s speech:
- Starting his address PM Modi said, “About 8 crore farmers have joined us today; the conclave’s impact will not just be in Gujarat, but countrywide, benefitting all farmers. Food processing, natural farming will help in transforming farm sector.”
- Talking about natural farming, the Prime Minister said, “We’ve to take agriculture out of chemistry labs & link it with nature’s laboratory. When I talk about a natural laboratory, it’s completely science-based… From seeds to soil, all solutions can be brought in naturally.”
- PM Modi further said that the country has witnessed closely how the agricultural sector transformed in the past years after decades of getting independence and now our journey till the 100th year of independence is to adapt the agricultural reforms according to new requirements, new challenges.
- Listing the initiatives taken for the farmers by the BJP government in the past years, PM Modi said, “In the last 6-7 years, from seed to market, several steps have been taken one after the other to increase the income of the farmer . From soil testing to hundreds of new seeds, From PM Kisan Samman Nidhi to one and a half times the MSP of the cost, from a strong network of irrigation to Kisan Rail, the government is doing its best to provide benefits to the farmers.
- PM further said that it is true that chemicals and fertilizers have played an important role in the Green Revolution. But it is equally true that we have to keep working on the alternatives at the same time.
- PM Modi said that the world is now connecting back to its roots. He said, ” the more modern the world is becoming, the more it is moving towards ‘back to basic’. What is the meaning of this back to basic? It means connecting with your roots! Who understands this better than farmers? The more we water the roots, the more the plant grows.”
- PM said that an illusion has been created that without chemicals the crops will not be good. Whereas the truth is quite the opposite. Earlier there were no chemicals, but the harvest was good and history is a proof of it.
- The Prime Minister further said, “Natural farming will benefit the country’s 80% small-scale farmers the most. These farmers have less than 2 hectares of land and spend a lot on chemical fertilizers… but using natural fertilizers will benefit them.”
Home Minister Amit Shah also participated in the event and said, “We are trying to establish a laboratory in the country that will audit land and certify organic products so that farmers get more prices. Amul & others working on it. This will encourage organic farming “
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said the government has been driven by Modi’s vision for farmers’ welfare.
“It has been committed towards ensuring an increase in productivity so that farmers are able to maximize their agri-potential. The government has initiated several measures to transform agriculture and increase farmers’ income,” it said.
Efforts are underway to promote and support initiatives leading to sustainability of the system, cost reduction, market access and better value realization to farmers.
The PMO said “zero budget natural farming” is a promising tool to minimize the dependence of farmers on purchased inputs and reduces the cost of agriculture by relying on traditional field-based technologies which lead to improved soil health.
Desi cow, its dung and urine play an important role from which various inputs are made on the farm and provide necessary nutrients to soil.
Other traditional practices such as mulching the soil with biomass or keeping the soil covered with green cover round the year, even in the very low water availability situations, ensure sustained productivity even from the first year of adoption, it said.
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