Agriculture sector will progress with newer innovations and techniques: PM

New Delhi, Sep 27:Stressing that the agricultural sector in the country has again shown its resilience in Covid times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday pointed out that the more modern alternatives are offered for agriculture, the more it will progress with newer innovations and techniques.

In the 16th Episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat 2.0’, Mr Modi said, ‘It is said here that the one who is rooted to the ground, is equally firm during the course of the biggest of storms. In this difficult period of Corona, our agricultural sector, our farmers are a living testimony to this. Even in this time of crisis, the agricultural sector of our country has again shown its resilience.’

He maintained that the agricultural sector of the country, including the farmers and villages are the very basis of Atmanirbhar Bharat, a self reliant India.

‘If they remain strong then the foundation of Atmanirbhar Bharat will remain strong. In the recent past, these areas have liberated themselves from many restrictions and tried to break free from many myths,’ he said.

He reiterated the benefits of the three agriculture bills –The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill — passed by Parliament during the the just-concluded Monsoon session amid staunch opposition by various parties.

Mr Modi said ‘in present-times, the more modern alternatives we offer for agriculture, the more it will progress with newer innovations and techniques.’

He gave example of Bijay Shanti of Manipur who launched a start-up to develop thread from the Lotus stem, adding that today her efforts and innovations have opened new avenues in the fields of lotus farming and textile.

He said farmer organizations have informed him about new dimensions being added to the farming sector and the changes it is undergoing.

Giving an example, he said one such of farmer Kanwar Chauhan lives in Sonipat district of Haryana
Mr Modi said, ‘He told us how there was a time when he used to face great difficulties in marketing his fruits and vegetables outside the mandi, the market place. If he used to sell his fruits and vegetables outside the mandi, then, many a times his produce and carts would get confiscated.
‘But, in 2014, fruits and vegetables were excluded from the APMC Act, which, greatly benefited him and fellow farmers in the neighborhood. Four years ago, he, along with fellow farmers of his village, formed a Farmer Producer’s Organization. Today farmers in the village cultivate sweet corn and baby corn. Their produce is being supplied directly to Azadpur Mandi, Delhi, Big Retail Chains and Five Star Hotels. ‘
He said today, the farmers of the village are earning Rs 2.5-3 lakh per acre annually by cultivating sweet corn and baby corn.
‘Not only this, more than 60 farmers of this village, through construction of net house and poly house are producing various varieties of tomato, cucumber and capsicum and earning from Rs 10 to 12 lakh per acre every year.’
He said the difference is that these farmers have the power to sell their fruits and vegetables, anywhere and to anyone.

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