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Farmers are the ones, who take the country forward: PM Modi
PM Modi reiterates Government’s commitment to double the income of farmers by 2022
PM Modi emphasizes the need to evolve new technologies and ways that will help eliminate the need for farmers to burn crop stubble

My Cabinet colleague, Radhamohan Singh ji; the popular, successful and zealous Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath ji; Assistant Deputy Minister of the government of Japan, Takami Nakada ji; Israel's Ambassador Maya Kadosh ji; agricultural scientists, other dignitaries and my dear farmer brothers and sisters who have come here from every corner of UP.

There are still a few months remaining for the Ardha-Kumbh mela of Prayagraj. However, another Kumbh has begun in UP from today. About 50 thousand farmers from different villages of UP and scientists and entrepreneurs from around the world and within the country are becoming a part of this Agricultural Kumbh in Lucknow. I welcome you all. And as a Parliamentarian from UP, it's my responsibility to stand with you at all times and make efforts in your journey of development.

A few months back, during Krishi Unnati Mela, I had advised to organize large farmer fairs. Krishi Kumbh Mela is just an extension of that. I congratulate Yogi ji and his entire team for this great effort. I also want to offer my gratitude to the government of Japan and the government of Israel for partnering with us in this event. At the same time, the partner state of Haryana will also benefit out of it.

Friends,

Whenever the word 'Kumbh' gets associated with any event, its significance increases manifold. The Kumbh, in a way, is an inter-flow of ideas and the expression of humanity. I believe that the Krishi Kumbh will fulfill this tradition and in the next three days, new paths will open up for modern techniques and other opportunities.

Friends,

I was told that there are almost 200 stalls in this fair that are informing the farmers about modern techniques and machines related to agriculture. I believe that every farmer will benefit from this and at the same time it will help the farmers in ensuring quality.

Friends,

The Kharif season is about to get over everywhere around the country. All the farmer brothers and sisters are busy these days. Even this time, a record production is expected. UP is a place where the hard-working farmers produce the country's 20% of the food grains. I congratulate you all for the same. Several crops including rice and pulses are being purchased in Mandis across the country. I was told that in several parts of Uttar Pradesh too, grand arrangements have been made. This time the value received by the farmers for their crops is based upon the new Minimum Support Price. You all are aware of the fact that the government has made a historic increase in the MSP of 21 crops. It has been decided that the farmer should get direct profit of at least 50% of the cost.

Friends,

As the farmers of UP are engaged in record production, Yogi ji's government is breaking records in the purchase of that produce. Therefore, I congratulate Yogi ji's government. This time about 50-55 lakh metric tonnes of wheat has been purchased whereas the previous government used to purchase only 7-8 lakh metric tonnes of wheat. This means that considering that the farmers get a fair price, the purchase made by the Bharatiya Janata Party's Yogi Government has been 7-8 times more. Moreover, this purchase has been made directly from the farmers by the use of technology i.e. e-Uparjan so as to keep the middlemen away.

Friends,

This transformation is visible not only in the case of wheat and paddy but also in the case of sugarcane. Farmers have been paid more than Rs 27 thousand crores this season. Besides, Rs.11 thousand crores from the amount due have also been paid to the farmers. I was told that the Yogi government is trying to clear the amount due by the sugar Mills. I am glad that the UP government, for the first time, has decided to purchase potatoes. This will definitely help the farmers who don't get the fair price for their potatoes.

Friends,

These efforts in UP are part of that commitment of the central government as a result of which the villages and the farmers have become an important part of our economic planning. As per our clear conviction, it is the farmer that takes the nation forward, not the other way round. Therefore, the government is working on the problems associated with agriculture and farmers holistically and not in bits and pieces. Our focus is on removing every little problem faced by the farmers.

Friends,

The government is committed to doubling the farmer’s income by 2022 that will mark 75 years of Indian independence. Following the policy of minimum cost and maximum profit, scientific techniques have been beautifully blended with agriculture. A strong system of 'seed to the market' is being prepared in the country. Several initiatives are being taken in different areas ranging from soil health to improvement in Mandis. More than 16 crore soil health cards have been handed over to the farmers across the country of which 3 crores have been distributed in UP. This will help the farmers to decide which crop is suitable for a particular soil type and the amount of fertilizer required for the crops.

Friends,

In order to keep the characteristics and fertility of the soil intact, organic farming is being promoted. The farmers are being encouraged to maximize their use of fertilizers made from waste, so as to ensure production according to the needs of the country. The availability of the fertilizers like Urea in adequate amounts is also being ensured. At the same time, the irrigation facilities are also being strengthened. Apart from the major irrigation projects, new technologies in irrigation are also being promoted. Farmers are being encouraged to use 'Per Drop More Crop'. Micro irrigation systems like drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation are becoming part of our irrigation system.

Israel has received accolades in new irrigation techniques. At the same time, Japan is doing a commendable job in agricultural technologies. Therefore, as a partner in the Agriculture Kumbh, you are going to draw the benefits from the expertise of the two countries.

Friends,

Besides, we are rapidly moving forward in converting the electric and Diesel pumps into solar pumps. Besides these systems, pumps are important part of irrigation and major efforts are going on in this direction. A massive campaign is being run to convert these electric and diesel pumps to solar pumps. Under this, in the next four years, solar pumps will be installed in the fields of about 28 lakh farmers across the country. Firstly, the farmers will get free electricity and secondly, the surplus electricity can be sold to the power discoms.

Friends,

The farmer who was once 'Annadata' or producer of food grains now has the capability of being 'Urjadata' or producer of energy. The Annadata will now be Urjadata.

Friends,

The fact that this will bring a sea change in the lives of the farmers can be exemplified from one instance. I was in Gujarat a few days back. There I noticed that in a village, a few farmer families had collectively installed solar panels and solar pumps inside their fields. They have started generating electricity from solar energy. That was used in their fields and in solar pumps. It fulfilled their need of electricity. Moreover, they are earning Rs.50 thousand more annually by selling the surplus electricity.

Friends,

The government has made serious attempts to deliver the benefits of science to the farmers. The work of connecting the farmers and the scientists directly with the research centres has begun, so that the knowledge and information related to farming and seeds as a result of the research and discovery can reach the farmers at the shortest possible time. Therefore, about 700 Krishi Vigyan Kendras have been set up throughout the country. Modern institutions related to agriculture research are also being set up. Rice Research Centre is being established in Varanasi. The government has made efforts to ensure maximum price for the farmers' crops and for value addition. The government has allowed 100% FDI in the food processing sector. We all are aware of the fact that selling tomatoes will generate less income than selling tomato sauce in a bottle. Selling raw mangoes will fetch lower income than selling pickles made from raw mangoes. Similarly, selling green chillies will generate less income but selling chilli powder will generate greater income. This is called value addition. Moreover, TOP scheme with a cost of Rs.500 crores which is related to value addition of Tomatoes, Onions and Potatoes was announced in this year's budget. This will benefit the potato farmers of UP to a great extent. This has opened up new opportunities for investment in the field of agriculture which is benefitting UP. I was told that in UP Investors Summit, proposals of about Rs.16 thousand crores were made in food processing sector. Out of these, 14 projects worth Rs.3500 crores have already been launched.

Friends,

These steps are for making agriculture profitable. Besides, other steps are also being taken to increase the income of the farmers. After the success of Green Revolution, we have started walking on the new paths of white revolution, sweet revolution and blue revolution. We are creating record in the field of milk production, honey production and eggs or fish production. Two days ago, the government of India has taken a major decision for the fishermen families associated with fish production. The government has given approval to a new fund of Rs.7500 crores.

Friends,

All of you, the farmers, agriculture experts, scientists who are present here in Krishi Kumbh are important part of India's economy. This is because your efforts will have a major impact on our fast growing economy in the coming days. I urge you all to sit together and discuss about the techniques related to agriculture. It is essential to discuss on myriad issues like how to use less fertilizers, how to maximize the utilization of less water, how to improve warehouses for crops and how to use techniques like robots and drones effectively in agriculture.

Besides, how can we turn crop stubble into wealth with the help of new technology. Waste can be turned into wealth. Nothing is useless inside an agricultural field before and after harvest. Everything related to the field is gold. If the farmer uses his field effectively, nothing will go waste. Wealth can be created out of waste. There is a need to work more effectively in this direction. The government is giving a discount of 50-80% on crop waste to stop stubble burning. However, with technology-based solutions, we have to put an end to the compulsion of our farmer brothers of burning the crop stubble. This will protect the environment.

I believe that in the next three days, effective discussion will take place to find ways of making agriculture profitable and making value addition. The discussion should especially focus upon how new experiments can be conducted in the different districts of UP according to their needs.

I hope that the Krishi Kumbh will give a new direction to the agriculture system of the UP as well as the entire country. With this expectation, once again, my best wishes to you all.

Thank you!

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December 07, 2019
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