In his Independence Day address to the nation in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, “The way we are using chemical fertilisers and pesticides, it is damaging the health of our soil. As a farmer, as a child of this soil, I have no right to damage its health. I have no right to make my mother India sad nor do have I right to make her sick.”

As agriculture supports nearly 47% of Indian population and contributes a significant 18% to the Indian GDP, it is pivotal to transform the sector in ways that invoke sustainability and security. PM Modi’s government has been conscious of the problems long faced by the farming community in India, and hence its measured yet robust push towards natural and organic farming is well intentioned.

Historically, while Rig Veda and Atharva Veda make mentions of green manure, Varahamihira’s Brihat Samhita elaborates upon different methods of manuring. Kautilya’s Arthashastra lists out several kinds of manures like excreta of animals and oil cake. And the great Indian epic Mahabharata talks about the celestial cow, Kamdhenu, and the role that it plays in human life and retaining soil fertility.

The Indian traditions thus serve as a reservoir of vital information for revitalising and mainstreaming indigenous practices—capable of restoring the health of the ecosystem and sustaining livelihoods.

With this approach in the main, the Modi government’s emphasis on these farming approaches is rooted in their potential to increase farm productivity, reduce input costs thereby raise farm incomes, improve soil health, and enhance access to niche markets. Hence, this shift not only aligns with global environmental concerns but also holds the promise of ushering in a new era of prosperity for Indian farmers.

The manifestation of this shift assumed form via Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) launched back in 2015-16. An all-inclusive scheme, PKVY is designed to provide end-to-end assistance to farmers in their shift towards organic farming—right from production, processing, certification to marketing and post-harvest management. The ultimate aim of the scheme is to promote creation of organic villages via cluster approach and Participatory Guarantee System certification (PGS) that helps farmers certify their produce plus label and market them domestically. This has led to dissemination of latest technologies in organic farming, quality control of organic inputs, improvement in soil health, and promotion of sustainable farming practices among rural farmers, youth, consumers, and traders alike.

Since its inception, PKVY has brought an area of 11.85 lakh hectare under organic farming. The Modi government aims to add another 6 lakh hectare between 2022-23 and 2025-26.

In addition to enhanced productivity, organic and natural farming hold promise of increasing farm incomes through reduction in input costs. These practices encourage the use of natural inputs such as compost, green manure, and biopesticides, reducing the dependence on expensive chemical fertilisers and pesticides. This not only lowers the financial burden on farmers but also contributes to the overall sustainability of agriculture by minimising the environmental impact associated with synthetic inputs.

The Bharatiya Prakritik Krishi Padhati (BKPK), introduced in 2020-21, as a sub-scheme of PKVY, mainly caters to exclusion of all chemical inputs while promoting on-farm biomass recycling with emphasis on biomass mulching, utilising plant-based and cow dung-urine preparations, among other things. The scheme provides financial assistance throughout the process, right from cluster formation, capacity building to certification. Promoting agro-ecological farming system, 4.09 lakh hectare has been sanctioned under BKPK.

Building on this initiative, the government launched the National Mission on Natural Farming in 2023-24 to give a boost to chemical-free agriculture and expand the reach of natural farming. It has been rightfully backed by a funding of Rs. 459 crore.

Such consistent efforts are leading to massive improvements in soil health even as these practices improve water retention and microbial activity through use of organic matter, cover cropping and crop rotation. The long-term benefits of healthier soil include better resilience to climate variability and improved crop yields, ensuring long-term food security and sustainability of agriculture.

Farm incomes are further improved as these initiatives enhance farmers’ access to higher-value markets, not just domestically but also globally. Organic produce often commands premium prices in the market due to its perceived health benefits and environment-friendly production methods. By tapping into the rising demand of organic products, Indian farmers have the opportunity to access larger markets, thereby improving their economic well-being.

Keeping a tab on these benefits, Modi Government’s Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER) has expanded organic farming across 1.73 lakh hectares, benefitting 1.89 lakh farmers. The scheme is credited with the formation of 379 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), establishment of 205 collection, aggregation and grading units, 190 custom hiring centres, 123 processing units and pack houses, and development of 7 brands.

The Jaivik Kheti Portal, a dedicated web portal to promote marketing of organic products, also boasts of over 6.15 lakh farmers registrations.

In addition, the government has strengthened its commitment towards the cause of sustainability in agriculture via intiatives like National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm, Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme, and National Food Security Mission.

This proactive approach backed by ample financial assistance and strategic handholding at each step sets the Modi government apart in its commitment towards Indian agriculture. As the nation embraces a greener revolution, the benefits of natural and organic farming are poised to create a win-win situation for both farmers and the environment.

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PM Modi’s Vision Fuels Delhi’s Development
April 12, 2024

“Delhi has the good fortune to get an opportunity of keeping the flag of nations' prestige flying high.”
- PM Narendra Modi as Delhi prepared to host the G20 Summit

The last ten years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government have set in motion the creation of a New India—from rural to urban, from water to electricity, from houses to health, from education to employment, from castes to classes—a comprehensive plan bringing growth and prosperity to each doorstep.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi has emerged as a pivotal part of this dynamic developmental momentum spearheaded by PM Modi throughout this transformative decade.

The city has been at the heart of the infrastructural shift that has given a dedicated facelift to the entire nation. Today infrastructural marvels like Atal Setu, Chenab Bridge, Statue of Unity, and Zojila Tunnel dot India’s ever-evolving landscape.

With its focus on revamping transportation networks, upgrading urban amenities, and expanding digital infrastructure, the Modi government has launched an array of transformative initiatives. From railways, highways to airports, these initiatives have been key in galvanising inclusive and sustainable development across the length and breadth of the country.

The impressive expansion of the metro rail network has revolutionised urban commuting in India. From a mere 5 cities in 2014, the metro rail network now serves 21 cities across the nation—expanding from 248 km in 2014 to 945 km by 2024, with 919 km of lines under construction in 26 additional cities.

The Union Cabinet has recently approved two new corridors of Delhi Metro Phase-IV—Lajpat Nagar to Saket G-Block and Inderlok to Indraprastha. Both the lines have a combined length of over 20 kms with a project cost of over Rs. 8,000 crore (funding being sourced from the Union Govt, Govt of Delhi, and international agencies). The Inderlok- Indraprastha line will play a significant role in enhancing connectivity to the Bahadurgarh region of Haryana. Additionally, India’s first Namo Bharat train, operating on the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor further underlines the Modi government’s commitment to enhancing regional connectivity and upgrading its transportation infrastructure.

Further, the Bharatmala Pariyojana envisages improved logistics efficiency and connectivity via the development of nearly 35,000 km of National Highway corridors. 25 greenfield high-speed corridors have been planned under the plan out of which four intersect with Delhi’s growing infra capacity: Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, Delhi-Saharanpur-Dehradun Expressway, and the Urban Extension Road-II. The total project length sanctioned for Delhi is 203 km with an allocation of over Rs. 18,000 crore.

Over the past decade, the Modi government has consistently dedicated efforts towards augmenting capacity and decongestion of airports. After the IGI Airport Delhi became the first airport in the country to have four runways and an elevated taxiway, the expanded state-of-the-art Terminal 1 has also been inaugurated recently. In addition, the upcoming Noida International Airport (Jewar) shall further contribute to decongestion of the Delhi airport which is serving millions of passengers annually.

Besides, the inauguration of the New Parliament has further added civilisational yet modern connotations to the city’s landscape. Inauguration of the Yashobhoomi (India International Convention & Expo Centre) has given Delhi India’s largest convention and exhibition centre, offering a mixed purpose tourism experience. Along with Yashobhoomi, the Bharat Mandapam, a world-class convention and exhibition centre, showcases India to the world.

In terms of welfare, the Modi government has launched several schemes benefitting people hitherto on the margins of growth and development. Women’s safety in Delhi has been a key concern. To address the same, the Modi government strengthened the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 by increasing the quantum of punishment for rape, including capital punishment for rape of a girlchild below the age of 12.

The Union Home Ministry established a separate Women Safety Division back in 2018. One-stop centers, Sakhi Niwas, Safe City Project, Nirbhaya Fund, SHe-Box, Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences, and Cri-MAC (Crime Multi-Agency Center) among others are significant additions in the government’s campaign towards women safety.

In addition, Swachh Bharat Mission, PM Ujjwala Yojana, PM Matru Vandana Yojana, and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao have further led to the empowerment of Nari Shakti in India.

As India becomes the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world, Delhi is also contributing significantly towards this development. Today over 13,000 DPIIT-recognised startups are functioning in Delhi even as the government is promoting self-employment through PM MUDRA Yojana with over 2.3 lakh loans sanctioned worth over Rs. 3,000 crore for FY2023-24 (as on 26.01.2024).

PM SVANidhi, which provides collateral free loans to street vendors, is supporting over 1.67 lakh beneficiaries in Delhi. Further, under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, launched in 2020 to incentivise employers for creation of new employment and restoration of loss of employment during Covid-19 pandemic, over 2.2 lakh employees benefitted in Delhi.

Further, nearly 30,000 houses have been sanctioned and completed in Delhi under PM Awas Yojana (Urban).

Air pollution has been a recurring problem for the people of Delhi. Conscious of this reality, the central government has launched the National Clean Air Programme as a national level strategy to reduce air pollution level across the country.

The Modi government's tenure over the last decade has brought about a remarkable transformation in Delhi across various fronts. From infrastructure development to governance reforms, from education to employment, the government's initiatives have left an indelible mark on the capital city. As Delhi continues on its journey of progress and development, the contributions of the Modi government are set to shape its future trajectory for years to come.