Pranam to everybody!
Projects worth hundreds of crores rupees linked to studies and research in fisheries production, dairy, animal husbandry and agriculture have been launched for the country, for Bihar, to improve the lives of villages and to strengthen the system. On this occasion, I congratulate all the brothers and sisters of Bihar.
Bihar’s Governor Phagu Chauhanji, Chief Minister Shri Nitish Kumarji, my colleagues in the Union council of ministers, Shri Giriraj Singhji, Kailash Choudharyji, Pratap Chandra Sarangiji, Sanjeev Balyanji, Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Bhai Sushilji, Bihar Legislative Assembly Speaker Shri Vijay Chaudharyji, other members of the state’s cabinet, parliamentarians, legislators and my dear friends.
Friends, the idea behind the launch of all these schemes today is that our villages become the strength and force of the 21st century India, self-reliant India. Endeavour is to further enrich and empower our villages in this century through Blue Revolution, i.e., the work related to fisheries; White Revolution, i.e., dairy related work; and the Sweet Revolution, i.e., the work related to honey production. The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana has been designed keeping this goal in mind. Today, this scheme is being launched in 21 states of the country. Over 20,000 crore rupees would be spent in the next 4-5 years under it. Out of this, projects worth Rs 1700 crores are being launched today. Under this scheme, many facilities have been inaugurated and foundation stone laid in Patna, Purnia, Sitamarhi, Madhepura, Kishanganj and Samastipur. This will provide new infrastructure, modern equipment and access to new markets to those involved in the fisheries. There will be more opportunities for revenue through farming as well as other means.
Friends, in view of the trade in fish in every part of the country, particularly in the areas along the sea and the river, this is the first time after independence that such a major scheme has been formulated. Investment worth several times more is being made in the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana than the investment that has been made so far after independence. When Giriraj ji was presenting the data, it must have come as a surprise to many. But when you will know the reality, you will realize how this government has been planning huge projects for the welfare of the people in so many fields.
A separate ministry has now been created to look into the fish-related trade in the country. This is also facilitating our fishermen colleagues and fisheries and business associates. The goal is also to double fish exports in the coming 3-4 years. This will create millions of new employment opportunities only in the fisheries sector. When I was interacting with those friends, my confidence has increased further after that. When I saw the trust of the states, talked to brothers Brajeshji and Jyoti Mandan and daughter Monika, there is reflection of so much confidence.
Friends, much of the fish farming depends on the availability of clean water. The mission to make the Ganges clean and clear is also helping in this work. The fisheries sector is also set to benefit from the work being done on river transport in the areas around the Ganges. The Mission Dolphin, which was announced on August 15 this year, will also have its impact on the fisheries sector naturally, i.e., there is going to be bio-product help and extra benefits. I have come to know that our Nitish Babuji is very enthusiastic about this mission. And, therefore, I have full faith that when the number of dolphins will increase in the Ganges, it is going to benefit the people of the Ganges coast, everybody will benefit.
Friends, under Nitish ji's leadership, a very laudable work is being done to provide safe drinking water supply to every household. Four-five years ago, only 2% houses in Bihar had water supply connections. Today, this figure is more than 70 percent. About 1.5 crore households have been connected with water supply during this period. Nitishji’s campaign has got a fillip through the Jal Jeevan Mission. I have been informed that about 60 lakh houses in Bihar have been ensured tap water even in this time of Corona. This is really a very big achievement. This is an example how villages continued to work with self-confidence when almost everything had come to a standstill in the country during this crisis. It is the strength of our villages that all the essential commodities like grains, fruits, vegetables and milk continued to reach the mandis, dairies and to the people without any shortage despite the Corona.
Friends, in the meantime, there have been a bumper yield, be it in grains, fruit or milk production. Not only this, the governments and the dairy industry have also made record purchases despite this difficult situation. There has been direct money transfer in the bank accounts of over 10 crore farmers through the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi. This includes our 75 lakh farmers of Bihar. Friends, almost 6,000 crore rupees have been transferred in the bank accounts of farmers of Bihar since the launch of this scheme. It is due to these measures that we have succeeded in lessening the impact of this global pandemic on the villages. This is also laudable because Bihar is also bravely facing the menace of floods along with Corona.
Friends, we are very much aware of the situation in Bihar and nearby areas due to heavy rains and floods, besides Corona. Both the state and central governments are trying to complete the relief work in a speedy manner. It is very much emphasized that the scheme of free ration and the benefits of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan reached every needy colleague in Bihar, and to the every family that has returned to the village from outside. Therefore, the scheme of free ration has been extended till Deepawali and Chhath Puja after June.
Friends, many of the workers who have returned from the cities due to the Corona crisis are moving towards animal husbandry. They are getting support from many schemes of the Central Government and the Government of Bihar. I would tell this to such colleagues that the future of the steps that you are taking today is bright. You note down my words that the future is bright for what you are doing. The government is making concerted efforts to expand the country's dairy sector. There should be new products and new innovations, so that the farmers and herders get more income. Along with this, the focus is to have the best breed of animals in the country, better facilities for their health and they should have access to clean and nutritious food.
With this goal, free vaccination campaign is underway to vaccinate more than 50 crore livestock from diseases like foot and mouth. Provisions have also been made under different schemes for quality fodder to animals. Mission Gokul is underway to develop better indigenous breeds in the country. The phase one of a countrywide artificial insemination programme, which was started a year ago, has been completed today.
Friends, Bihar is now emerging as a major center for the development of quality indigenous breeds. The diary sector in Bihar will be strengthened further due to the modern facilities built in Purnia, Patna and Barauni under the National Gokul Mission. The center built in Purnia is one of the largest centers in India. This will greatly benefit a large part of eastern India, besides Bihar. The development and conservation of indigenous breeds of Bihar like 'Bachhaur' and 'Red Purnia' will get a further boost because of this centre.
A cow usually gives birth to one calf in a year. Experiments are on so that one cow can give birth to several calves in a year through the help of the IVF technology. Our goal is to take this technology to every village.
Along with the good breed of animals, it is also equally important to have the right scientific know-how about their care. In order to ensure this, continuous technology is being used for the past several years. As part of the series, the 'e-Gopala' app has been launched today. The e-Gopala app will be an online digital medium that will help the farmers to choose better quality livestock and they will be spared of middlemen. This app will give all the information related to cattle care, from productivity, to its health and diet. This will enable the farmer to know the needs of his animal and where cheaper treatment is available if it is sick. Not only this, the app is being linked to animal Aadhaar. When this work will be completed, all the information related to the concerned animal will be easily available by inserting the animal Aadhaar number in the e-GOPALA app. This will also make it easier for cattle owners to buy and sell animals.
Friends, it is very necessary to adopt scientific methods and create modern infrastructure in villages for the rapid development of sectors like agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries. In fact, Bihar has been an important center for education and research related to agriculture. In Delhi, we keep on hearing about Pusa (institute). Not many people know that the real Pusa is not in Delhi, but in Samastipur in Bihar. The one here in Delhi is its twin brother in a way.
Friends, during the period of colonial rule itself, a national level agricultural research center was set up at Pusa in Samastipur. Visionary leaders like Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Jananayak Karpoori Thakur carried forward this tradition after independence. Drawing inspiration from these efforts, Dr. Rajendra Prasad University of Agriculture was recognized as a Central University in 2016. After this, courses and facilities in the university and the colleges affiliated to it were expanded extensively. Education arrangements for the study of agricultural sciences and agricultural management in Bihar are being further strengthened, be it the new College of Agriculture and Forestry in Motihari, or School of Agribusiness and Rural Management in Pusa. To take this forward, a new building of the School of Agri-Business and Rural Management has been inaugurated. In addition, foundation stones for new hostels, stadiums and guest houses have also been laid.
Friends, in view of the modern needs of the agriculture sector, a major campaign has been going on in the country for the last 5-6 years. Six years ago, where there was only one central agricultural university in the country, today there are three central agriculture universities in the country. The Mahatma Gandhi Research Centre has also been set up to save farming from the floods that occur every year in Bihar. Similarly, the fishery-related Regional Research and Training Centre at Motipur, the Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Center at Motihari and many such institutes have been launched to connect agriculture with science and technology.
Friends, now, India is moving towards a direction where there will be clusters near villages where industries related to food processing will also be set up and there will be research centres associated with it as well. In a way, we can say -- Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan and Jai Anusandhan. When the power of these three will work unitedly, the rural life of the country is set for bigger changes. There is a lot of potential for this in Bihar. Many of the fruits here, whether it is Litchi, Jardalu Mango, Amla, Makhana (lotus seeds), or Madhubani paintings, there are several products which are in every district of Bihar. We have to be more vocal for these local products. The more we become vocal for the local, the more Bihar will become self-reliant, the more the country will become self-reliant.
Friends, I am happy that the youth of Bihar, especially our sisters, are already making commendable contribution to it. Whether it is the Shrividhi paddy cultivation, or growing vegetables on a leased land, or the use of other organic manures, including Azolla, or a hiring centre associated with agricultural machinery, the feminine power of Bihar is also in the forefront of the self-reliant India campaign. Many such groups like "Aranyak FPO” associated with maize trade in Purnia district and “Kaushiki Milk Producer Company” of women dairy farmers in Kosi region, are doing commendable work. Now, for our enthusiastic youth and the sisters, the central government has also created a special fund. This Rs 1 lakh crore infrastructure fund will facilitate financial assistance to such FPO-agricultural producers groups, cooperative groups, village storage, cold storage and other facilities. Not only this, the self-help groups of our sisters are also being given a lot of help now. Such is the situation now in Bihar that the loan to self help groups has now increased by 32 times as compared to 2013-14. It shows how much confidence the country and the banks have on the capability and entrepreneurship of our sisters.
Friends, we are going to make continuous efforts to make the villages of Bihar and the country an important hub of self-reliant India. The role of hard-working friends of Bihar is very big in these efforts and the expectations of the country are very high from you. The people of Bihar have been recognized because of their hard work and talents, not only in the country, but abroad as well. I am sure that the people of Bihar will continue to work in the same way to fulfil the dream of a self-reliant Bihar. I once again congratulate you for the launch of so many development plans, but once again I will express my feelings. I have some expectations from you. I expect you to follow the rule of wearing masks and maintaining a distance of two yards. Stay safe, stay healthy.
Take care of the elders in your home, it is very important. Don’t take Corona lightly. Till the vaccine developed by scientists is there, this social vaccine is the only and the best way to escape Corona. Therefore, I keep on reminding people to maintain the distance of two yards, the use of mask, no spitting, to take care of the elders, etc. I thank the state government, Giriraj ji, and everybody for giving me this opportunity to meet you once again.
Many many thanks!!!