Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the country has brought farmers to the centrestage and emphasised on doubling farm production and income. “There is a concerted attempt to provide higher renumeration by increasing the Minimum Support Price (MSP),” he said.
Modi was addressing people after releasing the autobiography of Dr Balasaheb Vikhe Patil titled ‘Deh Vechwa Karani’ via videoconferencing from New Delhi. He renamed Pravara Rural Education Society as Loknete Dr Balasaheb Vikhe Patil Pravara Rural Education Society. The function was organised by senior BJP leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil at Pravara in Ahmednagar.
While Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray attended it via videoconference, Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis attended the event at Ahmednagar.
Modi said one will find stories of Balasaheb Vikhe Patil’s life in every region of Maharashtra. He said Balasaheb Vikhe Patil followed in the footsteps of Dr Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil and dedicated himself to the development of Maharashtra. Easing the lives of villagers, the poor and the farmers and reducing their sufferings have been the core of his life, he said.
Balasaheb Vikhe Patil always worked for the betterment of the society and always stressed on making politics a medium for bringing meaningful changes in the society, he added.
The Prime Minister said that after Independence when the country did not have enough food, the priority of the government was how to increase the productivity of crops. But in this concern for productivity, the focus was not given towards profitability of the farmer. “The country is now emphasising on increasing the income of the farmer, and has made constant efforts in this direction, such as the decision to increase MSP, neem coating of urea and better crop insurance,” Modi said.
With initiatives like PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, farmers now do not have to depend on others for small expenses. Moreover, unprecedented work has been done on augmenting infrastructure such as cold chains, mega food parks and agro-processing infrastructure, he said.
Referring to Balasaheb Vikhe Patil’s emphasis on the need to preserve the traditional knowledge of farming, the PM said we must preserve that knowledge and must also combine new and old methods in agriculture. In this context, the PM cited the example of sugarcane crop, where both new and old ways of farming are used. He said now industries are being set up to extract sugar as well as ethanol from sugarcane.
Recalling the initiatives of Balasaheb Vikhe Patil in tackling drinking and irrigation water problems, Modi said, “Under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, work was done rapidly to complete 26 projects in Maharashtra, which were stuck for several years. Out of these, nine projects have already been completed. With the completion of these projects, about 5 lakh hectares of land will get irrigation facilities.”
The PM lauded the water conservation work done in the state. “Devendra Fadnavis-led government gave Maharashtra an identity through water conservation work. The scheme was taken across homes to combat drought,” he said.
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