Stressing that it’s time to expand the agriculture sector to “a global market for processed food”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said India needs post-harvest revolution or food processing revolution, and value addition in 21st century.
“Today, it is the need of the hour that the farmer’s produce in the country gets more and more options in the market. The country is experiencing the loss it has incurred from limiting the farmers only to the produce. We must expand the country’s agriculture sector into a global market for processed food,” Modi said.
“India of 21st century needs post-harvest or food processing revolution and value addition amid increasing agriculture production. It would have been good for the country had this been done 2-3 decades back,” the prime minister added
Endorsing private sector participation in agriculture, the prime minister said, “Till today, mostly the public sector has contributed towards R&D in farm sector. Now the time has come to increase private sector participation in it.” He also stated that contract farming is being practiced in India in one form or the other for a long time now. “But the aim should be to try not just to make contract farming a business, but also have to fulfil there responsibility towards the land on which it is practiced,” he said.
PM Modi’s views on agriculture sector comes on a day when Bharat Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait kicks off his tour to five states in order to garner support for the ongoing farmers’ protest against Centre’s new agriculture laws.
Modi said the government has increased agriculture credit target to Rs 16.50 lakh crore and animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries sectors have been given priority. Rural infrastructure fund has been raised to Rs 40,000 crore while micro-irrigation fund doubled. He added that his government has taken various decisions for the benefit of 12 crore small and marginal farmers. These small and marginal farmers would become the driving force of the rural economy, he said.