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PM dedicates the newly constructed campus of the National Institute of Biotic Stress Management, Raipur to the Nation
PM also distributes the Green Campus Award to the Agricultural Universities
“Whenever farmers and agriculture get a safety net, their growth becomes rapid”
“When science, government and society work together, results are better. Such an alliance of farmers and scientists will strengthen the country in dealing with new challenges”
“Efforts are being made to take the farmers out of the crop based income system and encourage them for value-addition and other farming options”
“Along with our ancient farming traditions, marching towards the future is equally important”

Namaskar ji! Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar ji, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Shri Bhupesh Baghel ji, my other colleagues in the cabinet Shri Purushottam Rupala ji, Shri Kailash Choudhary ji, Smt. Shobha ji, former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Shri Raman Singh ji, Leader of the Opposition in Chhattisgarh state assembly Shri Dharam Lal Kaushik ji, all the VCs, directors, scientific colleagues associated with agricultural education and my dear farmer sisters and brothers!

The agricultural proverbs of Ghagh and Bhaddri are very popular here in North India. Ghagh said many centuries ago -

जेते गहिरा जोते खेत,

परे बीज, फल तेते देत।

It means the deeper the field is plowed, the higher the yield is when the seed is sown. These proverbs are derived from the hundreds of years of old experiences of India's agriculture. These show how scientific Indian agriculture has always been. This synergy of agriculture and science is very important for India of the 21st century. Today another important step in this regard is being taken. This is being dedicated to the modern farmers of our country. With the hope of changing the lives of small farmers, I am dedicating this huge gift at the feet of many farmers of my country today. Today 35 new varieties of different crops have been released. Today the National Institute of Biotic Stress Management has also been inaugurated in Raipur. Green campus awards have also been given to four agricultural universities. I congratulate all of you, the farmers of the country and the agricultural scientists.

Friends,

In the last 6-7 years, the use of science and technology has been prioritized to solve the agriculture related challenges. Our focus is very much on the more nutritious seeds, adapted to new conditions, especially in view of the changing climate. In recent years, more than 1300 such varieties of seeds of different crops have been developed. In this series, 35 more crop varieties are being dedicated to the farmers of the country today. These crop varieties and seeds, which have been discovered by our scientists, will be very helpful to protect agriculture from the effects of climate change and in the malnutrition-free India campaign. These new varieties are not only capable of dealing with vagaries of weather, they are also more nutritious. Some of these varieties are for low water areas, some crops are protected from serious diseases and some others mature quickly, while some others can grow in brackish water. These varieties have been developed keeping in mind the different climatic conditions of the country. The country has got a new national institute in the form of the National Institute of Biotic Stress Management of Chhattisgarh. This institution will provide scientific guidance and support and will also strengthen the country's efforts in dealing with the challenges arising out of climate change and other conditions. The young manpower which will be trained here will become scientists with a scientific mind. The solutions that will emerge here will effectively boost the income of the country's agriculture and farmers.

Friends,

We all know that a large portion of the crops in our country is destroyed due to insects. This also causes great loss to the farmers. Last year itself in the midst of the fight against Corona, we saw how the grasshopper party had raided many states. A lot of efforts were needed to stop this attack and save the farmers from severe damages. I understand that this new institute has a huge responsibility and I am confident that the scientists working here will live up to the expectations of the country.

Friends,

When agriculture gets protective cover, it develops faster. To protect the land of farmers, 11 crore soil health cards have been given to them in different phases. As a result of these soil health cards, farmers have benefited a lot. Now the farmers know the limitations of the land they own; the utility of that land, the crop which gives a better yield, pesticides, necessary amount of fertilizers and the health of the soil. It has not only led to reduction in expenses, but increase in the yield as well. Similarly, we also addressed the concern about compost by doing 100% neem coating of urea. We started irrigation projects in order to provide water security to the farmers. We also launched a campaign to complete about 100 irrigation projects which were pending for decades and earmarked a huge budget for this so that water is available to farmers. Similarly, we provided financial help to farmers for micro irrigation and sprinklers to save water. New varieties of seeds were given to the farmers to protect their crops from insects and for higher yield. The PM Kusum campaign is also being run for farmers so that they can generate electricity along with agriculture. It will not only help them meet their own needs but they can also source power. Solar pumps have also been given to lakhs of farmers. Today, climate is a matter of concern all over the world. Right now, our Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh explained in detail about natural calamities and the problems due to climate change. We have brought about several changes in the rules which were prevalent earlier so as to protect the farmers from hailstorms and weather and they get maximum benefits and don’t face any problem in the event of any loss. The PM Fasal Bima Yojana seeks to address this concern so that farmers should get maximum benefit and security. The changes that we introduced in the PM Fasal Bima Yojana have helped settle claims of farmers worth almost one lakh crore rupees. One lakh crore rupees have gone into the pockets of the farmers in this hour of crisis.

Friends,

Besides increasing the MSP, we also improved the procurement process so that maximum farmers can get the benefit. More than 430 lakh metric tonnes of wheat has been procured in the Rabi season and more than 85,000 crore rupees have been paid to the farmers. The number of wheat procurement centers has been increased by three times in the midst of Corona. Also, the number of pulses and oilseeds procurement centers has also been increased three times. Under the Kisan Samman Nidhi, almost 1.60 lakh crore rupees have been transferred to the bank accounts of more than 11 crore of our farmers, mostly small farmers, to meet their small needs. Eight out of 10 farmers are small farmers in our country who survive on a very small piece of land. Out of this, more than one lakh crore rupees have been sent to them during this corona period. We facilitated the banking process to help farmers connect with technology. Today farmers are getting information related to weather in a better way. Recently, a campaign was undertaken to give Kisan Credit Cards to more than two crore farmers. Farmers engaged in the fisheries and dairy sector have also been linked to KCC. Things are moving rapidly regarding creation of more than 10,000 Farmer Producer Organizations, linking more agricultural markets under e-Nam scheme and modernization of existing agricultural markets. The projects undertaken in the last 6-7 years for the farmers and agriculture have made a very strong foundation for the realization of the national resolutions of the forthcoming 25 years. The country will celebrate the centenary of independence after 25 years. Currently, we are celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of freedom. Tasks related to seeds and the marketing of the produce are going to ensure the pace of India's progress as a major economic power.

Friends,

We all know that agriculture is a state subject and many times it is written that it is a state subject and the Indian government should not interfere. I also know this as I also had the privilege to work as the Chief Minister of Gujarat for many years. I knew that the state also has a special responsibility and I, being the Chief Minister, should fulfill this responsibility. I used to try my best in discharging my responsibility. While being the Chief Minister of Gujarat, I experienced the farming system, agricultural policies and their impact on farming very closely. Narendra Singh Tomar ji was just giving a great description of what I was doing during my tenure in Gujarat. There was a time when farming in Gujarat was limited to a few crops. Farmers had given up farming due to lack of water in a large part of Gujarat. At that time we proceeded with one mantra, took the farmers along with us and the mantra was – the situation should change and together we will change the situation. In that period itself, we started making extensive use of science and modern technology. Today, Gujarat has a major stake in the country's agriculture and horticulture. Now cultivation is done throughout the year in Gujarat. Even in areas like Kutch, those fruits and vegetables are grown which could never have been thought of. Now the agricultural produce from the desert of Kutch is being exported.

Brothers and sisters,

The focus was not only on production, but a vast network of cold chains was set up across Gujarat. As a result, the scope of agriculture widened and a large number of employment opportunities were created in the industries related to agriculture. Being a chief minister, it was my responsibility to the state, and I worked hard to discharge it.

Brothers and sisters,

Such modern changes in agriculture need to be further expanded in this era of independence. Climate change is a huge challenge not only for agriculture, but for our entire ecosystem. Climate change greatly affects our fish production, animal health and productivity. As a result, the farmers and the fishermen have to bear the losses. Climate change is resulting in new kinds of pests, diseases and epidemics and as a result there is a massive threat to the health of humans and livestock and crops are also being affected. These aspects warrant in-depth research. When science, government and society work together, the results will be better. Such an alliance of farmers and scientists will enhance the strength of the country in dealing with new challenges. Such science based agriculture models at district levels will make farming more professional and profitable. The same spirit is at the core of the campaign launched today to encourage technology and mechanisms to combat climate change.

Brothers and sisters,

This is the time when we have to strike a balance between Back to Basics and March for Future. When I talk about going back to basics, I mean the strength of our traditional agriculture that had a protective cover over most of today's challenges. Traditionally, we have been doing farming, animal husbandry and fisheries together. In addition, several crops were also grown simultaneously in the same field at the same time. That is, earlier the agriculture of our country was multi-culture, but it gradually changed into monoculture. Due to different circumstances, the farmers started growing the same crop. We have to change this situation together. At a time when the challenge of climate change is increasing, we have to speed up our work. Over the last few years, we have also encouraged this spirit to boost the income of the farmers. By taking the farmers out of the crop-based income system only, they are also being motivated for value addition and other farming options. Small farmers need this badly and we have focused on 80 percent of the farmers who are small farmers. Along with animal husbandry and fisheries, alternatives like bee keeping, solar power generation in the farms, waste to wealth – i.e. ethanol, bio-fuel are also being made available to the farmers. I am happy that the farmers of the country, including Chhattisgarh, are adopting all these new things very fast. Along with farming, they are also expanding two or four more things.

Friends,

The production of crops according to the local weather conditions is the strength of our traditional agriculture. Where there is drought, a particular type of crop is produced. Where there is flood, availability of more water, or snowfall, different types of crops are grown there. The nutritional value is also high in these seasonal crops, especially our coarse cereals- millets which are of great importance. Experts say that they boost our health. In view of the different types of diseases due to today's lifestyle, the demand for these millets is increasing very much.

My farmer brothers and sisters,

You will be happy to know that the United Nations has declared the next year i.e. 2023 as the International Year of Millets due to the efforts of India. This is a great opportunity to showcase our tradition of millets cultivation and our cereals at the international level and to explore new markets. But for this we will have to work from now on. Today, on this occasion, I urge all the social and educational organizations of the country to organize food festivals related to millets, hold competitions on how to make new food varieties out of millets, because if we have to take this forward to the world in 2023, we will have to bring innovations and increase awareness among people also. Websites related to millets can be developed. An awareness campaign can be run so that people can come forward and share the recipes of millets and its advantages. I am of the view that its benefits and any other interesting information can be put on this website so that people can connect with it. I would also urge all the states to set up task forces in their agriculture departments and universities by involving scientists and progressive farmers. We should make preparations from now on for 2023 when the world will celebrate Millets Year as to what will be India’s contribution, how can India lead or how the Indian farmers will make the best use of it.

Friends,

It is imperative to develop millets and other grains with solutions from science and research. The purpose is that these can be grown in different parts of the country according to different needs. We can see glimpses of these efforts in the variety of crops that have been launched today. I have also been told that experiments on agricultural techniques according to the local conditions are going on in more than 150 clusters in the country.

Friends,

Along with our traditional farming, March to Future is equally important. When we talk about the future, modern technology and new farming tools are at its core. Efforts to promote modern agricultural machines and equipment are showing results today. The future belongs to smart machines and smart devices. For the first time in the country, we are witnessing the role of drones in preparing village property documents. Now the use of modern drones and sensors also has to be increased in agriculture. It will help us get high quality data related to agriculture. It will also help in creating real time solutions to the challenges of farming. The recent drone policy is going to prove to be more helpful in this regard.

Friends,

We have to keep modernizing the entire ecosystem from sowing to marketing. Artificial intelligence, data analytics and block chain technology can go a long way in addressing the challenges related to demand and supply. We have to promote such innovations and startups which can take these technologies to the villages. If every farmer of the country, especially the small farmer, will use these new tools and technology, then the agriculture sector will be transformed. There is also a great opportunity for startups which provide modern technology to farmers at low prices. I would urge the youth of the country to take advantage of this opportunity.

Friends,

In this historic period of independence, we have to take modern science related to agriculture to villages. Some important steps have been taken in this regard in the new National Education Policy. We now have to try that research and technology related to agriculture should also be a part of our school curriculum up to the middle school level. Our students should have the option to prepare themselves to choose agriculture as a career from the school level itself.

Friends,

We all have to ensure our participation to convert the campaign that we have launched today into a mass movement. This campaign will also empower the ongoing National Nutrition Mission to free the country from malnutrition. The government has also decided that only fortified rice will be given to the poor children in schools. Recently, I urged the Olympics champions to raise awareness about malnutrition. I urged every sportsperson to attend at least 75 schools in the next 1-2 years, hold talks with students about nutrition, sports and physical exercise. Today I request all the academicians, agricultural scientists and all the institutions to set their goals for the Amrit Mahotsav of independence. Somebody can take up the 75-day campaign to adopt and transform 75 villages, or create awareness in 75 schools and assign each of the schools a specific task. Such a campaign can be run in every district of the country at personal and institutional levels. Farmers can be informed about new crops, fortified seeds and protection against climate change. I believe such an important effort by all of us will save the country's agriculture from the vagaries of weather and will also ensure the prosperity of the farmers and the security of the health of the country. Once again, many congratulations to all the farmer friends for the new crop varieties and the new National Research Institute. My best wishes to the universities which have been awarded today as only scientific systems, scientific minds and scientific methods can provide the best solutions to meet the challenges.

Many thanks!

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21st India – Russia Annual Summit
December 07, 2021
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President of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin, paid a working visit to New Delhi on 06 December 2021 for the 21st India – Russia Annual summit with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

2. President Putin was accompanied by a high level delegation. Bilateral talks between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin were held in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the sustained progress in the ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’ between both countries despite the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic. They welcomed the holding of the first meeting of the 2+2 Dialogue of Foreign and Defence Ministers and the meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Military & Military-Technical Cooperation in New Delhi on 6 December 2021.

3. The leaders underscored the need for greater economic cooperation and in this context, emphasized on new drivers of growth for long term predictable and sustained economic cooperation. They appreciated the success story of mutual investments and looked forward to greater investments in each others’ countries. The role of connectivity through the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the proposed Chennai - Vladivostok Eastern Maritime Corridor figured in the discussions. The two leaders looked forward to greater inter-regional cooperation between various regions of Russia, in particular with the Russian Far-East, with the States of India. They appreciated the ongoing bilateral cooperation in the fight against the Covid pandemic, including humanitarian assistance extended by both countries to each other in critical times of need.

4. The leaders discussed regional and global developments, including the post-pandemic global economic recovery, and the situation in Afghanistan. They agreed that both countries share common perspectives and concerns on Afghanistan and appreciated the bilateral roadmap charted out at the NSA level for consultation and cooperation on Afghanistan. They noted that both sides shared common positions on many international issues and agreed to further strengthen cooperation at multilateral fora, including at the UN Security Council. President Putin congratulated Prime Minister Modi for India’s ongoing non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council and successful Presidency of BRICS in 2021. Prime Minister Modi congratulated Russia for its ongoing chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

5. The Joint Statement titled India-Russia: Partnership for Peace, Progress and Prosperity aptly covers the state and prospects of bilateral ties. Coinciding with the visit, several Government-to-Government Agreements and MoUs, as well as those between commercial and other organizations of both countries, were signed in different sectors such as trade, energy, science & technology, intellectual property, outer space, geological exploration, cultural exchange, education, etc. This is a reflection of the multifaceted nature of our bilateral partnership.

6. President Putin extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit Russia for the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit in 2022.