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Chief Minister talks to one lakh farmers across the state through videoconferencing 

Horticulture, cash crops play a big role in Gujarat’s farm growth story, production going up to Rs.200-lakh tons, worth Rs.15,000-crore

 – Narendra Modi

Ahmedabad, Wednesday: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today said that horticulture and cash crops played a significant role in the state’s agriculture high growth rate story, adding to the income from traditional crops, thanks to practical approach of the farmers.

Talking with farmers across the state directly through videoconferencing on the fourth day of Krishi Mahotsav-2012, he said the state registered steep rise in both area under cultivation and in production of crops.

Even as the Government of India has declared this year as Year of Horticulture, Mr. Modi said that the pattern of agriculture in Gujarat has undergone changes with application of latest scientific development in optimum use of land, water, fertilizer and seeds. The wheat production has gone up from 10-lakh tons to 50 lakh tons, cotton from 23-lakh bales to 1.23-crore bales, during the last ten years.

Earlier, he said, fruits, vegetables and flowers were grown on 3.50-lakh hectares (ha). It has now reached 14-lakh ha, helping farmers in tribal areas too, increase their production, too. Date palm is being cultivated now near the Rann of Kutch. He described the progressive farmers as agriculture rishis. The demand for organic mango in the world is also on the increase.

Horticulture production in the state has trebled from 61-lakh tons to 200-lakh tons worth Rs.15,000-crore. Average yield has increased from seven tons to 20 tons per ha, more than double of the world average. This is the case with cereal and spices production, too. Tribal farmers are now encouraged to grow cashew nut, mushroom and value-added crops.

He said that budget allocation for horticulture alone is Rs.155-crore and Rs.22-crore for greenhouse and net-house. There are about 900 greenhouses and 2,494 net-houses in the state. He said the government encouraged growing vegetables on riverbeds, subsidy to build poly houses for Devi Pujak, better farm to market linkage through 200 Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yards, cold storages and food processing industries.

The Chief Minister appealed to the farmers to take the maximum advantage of one lakh government officials touring across the state, and to ignore the canards by the adversaries of Gujarat against the state.

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