While farmers from Punjab settled in the border district of Kutch are fighting a legal battle in an attempt to hold on to their land,Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is expected to be a guest at Vibrant Gujarat Agri Tech Summit 2013 that begins here on Sunday.
A three-day global agricultural summit,which is expected to be the first of its kind in the country,will deal with the latest technologies and innovation in farming from across the world.
Badal is likely to be the only CM to be part of this event that is aimed at projecting Modis pro-farmer image. Although chief ministers of other states have also been invited,so far only Badal,who heads the Shiromani Akali Dal,a partner party of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA),is expected to be present.
The summit will also serve as a platform for Modi to prepare ground for his iron pieces collection drive from all villages across India to construct the 182-feet tall Statue of Unity. Badal has confirmed his presence. He will be present during the inaugural function that is to be held on Monday, said a top official from the Agriculture department.
Three years ago,while invoking the Gujarat Revenue Act,1960,which states only bonafide farmers can buy and own land in Gujarat,the Kutch colllectorate had served notices to more than 500 farmers from Punjab and Haryana and also sealed some landholdings. Some of these farmers moved the Gujarat High Court against the state governement and won the case. However,the Gujarat government obtained a stay order on the HC hearing from the Supreme Court. These farmers,who settled in Gujarat after the 1972 India-Pakistan War,have contributed to the agricultural growth of the state since the time they settled here.
According to the Summits event plans,one farmer from each of the 671 districts in India will be felicitated for his work with a cash reward of upto Rs 51,000 each.
Over 200 companies from 14 countries will participate in the exhibition that will also have 100 stalls dedicated to farmers of India to showcase the innovative methods they have adopted. The event will have special seminars by three countries,including Israel, the Netherlands and Denmark.
The government has provided space to the farmers at the centrally airconditioned exhibition dome free of cost and helped them prepare presentation materials,including short video films,powerpoint presentations,charts and posters.
Of the total 100 farmers who will take part in the meet,60 are from the state. The remaining 40 will represent Madhya Pradesh,Assam,Orissa,Punjab,Chhattisgrah,Uttarakhand,Rajasthan,Uttar Pradesh,Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The government has helped Gujarati farmers prepare short video films on how and what work they do. For participants from other states,the Gujarat government has helped in preparing multimedia presentations. At the Kisan Panchayat,5,000 farmers will share experiences and exchange ideas.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi is to be present throughout the programme.