Farmers, scientists need to work together to transform agriculture: Modi

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New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) Indian farmers and the scientists have to work together to transform agriculture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.

Addressing a gathering at the Krishi Unnati Mela at Pusa Campus here after laying the foundation stone for 25 Krishi Vigyan Kendras or agricultural science centres, he said that on this day he has had the opportunity to simultaneously speak to two sentinels of ‘New India’ — the farmers and the scientists.

Appreciating the farmers’ spirit and hardwork, Modi underlined that at present there was record production of food grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables and milk in the country, but new challenges have come up in agriculture which reduce the farmers’ income and increase their losses.

He said the government’s aim remained to double the farmers’ incomes and it has decided that for all notified crops, the minimum support price (MSP) would be “at least one and a half times the cost” of the crop.

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Modi said that for this purpose, the ‘cost’ would include elements such as labour, rent for machinery, cost of seeds and fertilizers, revenue being given to the state government, interest on working capital and rent of leased land.

The Prime Minister also said that honey-bees could be an important source of additional income for farmers and dwelt on the benefits of solar farming. He said about 2.75 lakh solar pumps have reached farmers in the last three years.

The Prime Minister also spoke of the Gobar Dhan Yojana for creating compost, bio-gas etc from bio-waste.

Modi said that the government was working to ensure that farmers get modern seeds, adequate power supply, and easy market access.

He said that along with the Green Revolution and White Revolution, the country should now also focus on Organic Revolution, Water Revolution, Blue Revolution and Sweet Revolution.

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He said the Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) would play a key role in this regard.

The Prime Minister also launched an e-marketing portal for organic products and gave away the Krishi Karman Awards and the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Krishi Protsahan Puraskar.

–IANS

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