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Gujarat Chief Minister at zonal Krishi Mahotsav at Petlad

“Had Sardar Patel been Prime Minister, Indian farmers would have been as progressive and prosperous as that of Gujarat” “Since land is limited, productivity is the key to increase production” – Narendra Modi

Ahmedabad, Saturday: Chief Minister Narendra Modi today described the Krishi Mahotsav being held in Gujarat for the last eight years as the biggest ever campaign to revamp agricultural economy by any government in any State or the Centre

Since land size is unlikely to increase, he said, increasing productivity or crop yield per unit of land is the key to increase agricultural production. Nearly one lakh government officials, besides agricultural scientists, veterinary doctors and other experts, fan out to length and breadth of the state in this heat and dust during the height of summer for about a month, personally explaining the benefits of latest farm techniques to the farming community. The campaign has received unprecedented welcome in rural areas.

Mr. Modi was addressing a zonal-level Krishi Mahotsav-2102 at Petlad in Anand district, the other five districts in the zone being Ahmedabad, Kheda, Vadodara, Dahod and Panchmahals. He distributed the Sardar Patel Krishi Puraskar to progressive farmers, honoured them and distributed kits to some farmers as token.

He said that Gujarat Government has evaluated the socio-economic benefits of its pro-farmer and pro-farm campaign by third parties. The success stories include 11 per cent growth in agriculture as against the national average of three per cent, adopting farm-to-fabric-to-fashion policy to increase cotton production, extracting oil from tobacco seeds for medicine, eradicating diseases in cattle in 25,000 cattle medical camps held in the state during the last eight years, reviving dairy industry in Saurashtra and Kutch region, and emphasis on value-addition like horticulture and tree farming. He hit back at those spreading canard that farm land is being usurped in the name of development. If it were so, could there be agricultural revolution without land, he asked.

The Chief Minister regretted that the Central Government continued to remain insensitive to India’s agricultural needs. The extent of the Centre’s unconcern for people could be gauged from the fact that 24 hours have passed since the families of Indians assaulted in Angola have urged the Prime Minister, but no action has been taken so far.

Had Sardar Patel been the Prime Minister, the entire Indian farmers would have been as progressive and prosperous like that of Gujarat. Even Lal Bahadur Shastri’s one call to farmers filled up the godowns of the country with food grains, Mr.Modi said.

Minister of State for Law Pradeepsinh Jadeja said horticulture production in the state has increased from 51-lakh tones to 200-lakh tones, return on agriculture sector reached Rs.80,000-crore. Minister of State for Tourism Jitendra Sukhadia said wheat production in the state has increased from 10 lakh tones to 50-lakh tones since 2001-02, while area under horticulture has increased from 6.91-lakh ha to 14.04-lakh ha. Parliamentary Secretary Sundarsinh Chauhan said the beauty of scientific farming is maximizing output with minimum inputs.

Mr. Rajendra Phalke from Maharashtra was specialy present at the function.

Prominent among those present on the occasion were Health Minister Jay Narayan Vyas, Education Minister Raman Vora, Minister of State Praful Patel, State Planning Board Chairman Bhupendrasinh Chudasma, Chief Whip in State Assembly Pankaj Desai, Deputy Chief Whip Ambalal Rohit, MLAs Jyotsnaben Patel, Shirish Patel, Devusinh Chauhan, ex-MP Deepak Patel, ex-Minister Bimal Shah and District Panchayat President Jasubha Solanki.

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today interacted with Governors of States regarding the Covid-19 situation and ongoing vaccination drive in the country, through video conferencing.

Prime Minister said that in the battle against Covid, along with the vaccines, our values and sense of duty are our biggest strengths. Praising the citizens who participated in this battle last year considering it their duty, he said that the same feeling of Janbhagidari needs to be encouraged now as well. He said that the role of the Governors, through appropriate utilization of their social capacity, thus becomes all the more critical to achieving this. Governors are an important link to ensure better coordination between State Governments and society, he said, adding that the combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed.

Prime Minister suggested that the Governors can actively engage to ensure that social institutions collaborate seamlessly with the State Governments towards micro containment. He said that their social network can help ensure an increase in the capacity of ambulances, ventilators and oxygen in hospitals. Along with spreading the message about vaccination and treatment, the Governors can also spread awareness about AYUSH related remedies.

Prime Minister noted that our youth, our workforce, is an important part of our economy. Hence, it is important to ensure that our youth follows all Covid related protocols and precautions. He said that the Governors’ role is also critical in ensuring the greater engagement of our students in University campuses towards this Janbhagidari. We also need to focus on better utilization of facilities at University and College campuses, he added. He said that just like last year, NCC and NSS also have a key role to play this year as well. Prime Minister said that the Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle and their coordination with State Governments and guidance to institutions of the State will further strengthen the nation’s resolve.

Discussing the rise in the number of Covid cases, the Prime Minister said that in this stage of the fight against the virus, the country stands to gain from last year’s experience and improved healthcare capacity. He discussed the increase RTPCR testing capacity and noted that the country has become Aatmanirbhar with respect to kits and other material related to testing. All this has led to a reduction in the cost of RTPCR tests also. He added that most of the products related to testing are also available on the GeM portal. Prime Minister emphasized the significance of increasing tracking, tracing and testing, and said that RTPCR testing needs to be increased from 60% to 70%. He said that it is pertinent to ensure that more and more people get tested.

Prime Minister underlined that the government is committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines. He highlighted that India has become the fastest nation to reach the landmark of 10 crore vaccinations. Noting the positive impact of Tika Utsav in the last four days, he said that in this period, the vaccination drive was expanded and new vaccination centres also came up.

Interaction

The Vice President of India, Union Home Minister and Union Health Minister also attended the interaction.

The Vice President appreciated the Prime Minister for leading the fight against Covid and his proactive steps to develop the infrastructure required to tackle the pandemic. He also highlighted the scientific community's contribution in giving a vaccine to India and the whole world. He also talked about the contribution of healthcare workers, sanitation workers, and other frontline workers who have played a vital role during the pandemic.

The Vice President called upon the Governors to bring up a coordinated front by leading all-party meetings in their respective states and engaging with civil society organisations to spread awareness about covid-appropriate behaviour. The Vice president said that a 'Team India spirit' cutting across policy lines should be adopted, and in this regard, Governors as the 'Guardians of the State' could guide the State Governments.

Union Home Minister stressed the importance of saving each and every life. Union Health Secretary gave a presentation on Covid cases and vaccination drive. He gave an overview of how India has followed a proactive and pre-emptive approach in this endeavour.

The Governors shared details of how their respective states are tackling the spread of the virus and coordinating activities towards ensuring a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive, while also mentioning the deficiencies of healthcare facilities in the States.

They gave suggestions for further improvement in the efforts and shared plans of how Janbhagidari can be increased through the active social engagement of various groups.