The Chief Minister expressed joy in the fact that more and more youngsters are taking to agriculture. He affirmed, “There was a time when the elders were involved in farming. The young ones worked elsewhere and only took rounds of the field. But today, youngsters between the ages of 30 and 35 years are drawn towards agriculture. Educated people are turning to farming. This is a big thing.”
Comparing the approach of the present state government with that of the preceding Congress governments vis-à-vis agriculture, Shri Modi said, “Congress created a polity where they were interested in the chair and not the well being of our farmers. Congress did Kursi Bhakti whereas we are engaged in Krishi Bhakti,” and added, “Those spreading lies everyday and only playing power politics will never understand the efforts we are putting in.” The Chief Minister recalled how preceding Congress governments gave a loan of five hens to ‘empower’ the farmer but in a matter of weeks its meat was eaten by visiting officials. “This is what they did. We brought a change. We want to give loans of tractors, loans of machines, we want to give loans so that children of the Tribal communities can go overseas and study,” the Chief Minister avowed.
Shri Modi also shared how earlier Congress regimes ignored the water problems of the state. He said, “If the earlier Governments had worked on the water situation, our farmers would have prospered but they did not do that. Congress leaders came to me and said there is no water but it is not as if we cut the taps they made! Infact, we are doing what they did not (in giving more water to our people).” The Chief Minister further shared that a sum of Rs. 3400 has been given for water-related issues only for the areas that are dominated by the Tribal communities. Shri Modi pointed out that the Congress has been in power at the Centre for the last nine years but has failed to take any step to add even a kilogram of fertilizers.
During his speech, the Chief Minister talked at length about the initiatives of the state Government for the welfare of the tribal communities and the farmers such as the Vanlakshmi Yojana and Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana. He pointed that the Budget for Vanbandhu Yojana was Rs. 15,000 crore earlier but now it is Rs. 40,000 crore. He shared that earlier, the innocent farmers were totally dependent on traditional agriculture methods and on rainfall for water but that is changing now. Shri Modi talked about how farmers from the Tribal communities are cultivating corn, soya bean, turmeric and garlic. He said, “I saw different types of onions and chilies also being cultivated. Experts from Anand’s agriculture university told me that in 1 Bhiga land, saffron is being grown in greenhouses and that too in 40 degrees. I want my farmer friends to know this. Infact, now Kheti seems to be out of the dictionary of our farmers from Tribal communities. They say we are doing ‘Phulwari’ and are growing flowers. This is a revolution.” The Chief Minister recalled that there was a time when people from Dahod and surrounding areas went to other places and built roads but today this region is producing road contractors and the strength for this came from agriculture.
The Chief Minister avowed that forest fires were common a decade ago but with farmers leaning how to use leaves, that has become history. He also said that animal husbandry has been given an impetus and there has been a revolution in milk production, which has particularly benefitted the women of Gujarat.
On the occasion Shri Modi met several progressive farmers and honored them for their commendable work. Progressive farmers presented Shri Modi with their produce and also with tokens of their affection. Shri Modi thanked them and said that the gifts that he gets are put in the state treasury and the money goes to Kanya Kelavani initiative. Ministers Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and Shri Babubhai Bokhiria were present on the occasion.