My brothers and sisters present here in large numbers,
Kem Chho, badhaa?
(How are you? Good!)
I think the ground is not big enough; there is no space outside also. Do you remember which Prime Minister you met here last? No! No? Did any Prime Minister come here? It’s okay. This was in my destiny only.
First of all, I would like to praise the cooperative society of Amreli district in which a new generation is engaged now. There was a time when Ratubhai and other great personalities were active in the cooperative world. Both the cooperative and government sectors were controlled by these great men. But for the past few years, the new team is taking Amreli district to new heights of development. I had a meeting with the APMC market of Amreli earlier also but the kind of wonders our PP has performed these days, the kind of model he has developed is really praiseworthy. Many congratulations to PP and his team.
Dilipbhai is very hard working; work is his life. He cannot live without work. He keeps on thinking about how to do something new. I remember that our former governments in Gujarat had made such decisions that it was not possible for the dairy industry in Saurashtra to develop. They never came here. It was in such a poor condition. We made policy level changes. First of all, Dilipbhai decided that this situation needs to change and today I am content that he was able to accomplish this thing. Today the entire Amreli has benefited. The people of the entire Amreli, be it the cattle breeders, or farmers, or people involved in milk production directly or indirectly have got a proper market. Not only this, they also received adequate and fair prices in exchange for milk. Today, I am satisfied that even after being such a huge success the work in this direction has not stopped, but APMC has used modern technology and created a Soil Testing Lab. They also made a Lab for the grading of the goods coming in the market. Government of India has launched the eNAM scheme through which farmers can sell their products in any market in which they get the best price. A digital platform has been developed by Government of India which requires a gradation lab that has also been accomplished by PP Bhai. I firmly believe that Amreli has shown a new path for the other APMCs of Gujarat. I congratulate him and Amreli was the first in the world of APMC in Gujarat. And today after six decades again Amreli has become the first to show a new path in the world of modern technology, and must be congratulated for this feat.
Today I want to draw your attention to two things.
The first thing that is happening here is the launch of Sweet Revolution and the other is the 1600 km long shoreline of Gujarat which can lead a Blue Revolution. Our brothers and sisters from the fishing community, our maritime asset, they can move ahead by taking the example of a new revolution. The process of giving a new dimension to both the rural Gujarat and its coastal areas is beginning with these schemes. Government of India has planned that on the lines of green revolution and white revolution, we must also move in the direction of a sweet revolution. A year or a year-and-a-half ago, I had spoken to Dilip Bhai and all of them that like we go and collect milk from the farmers, similarly we can collect honey also. And if someone keeps 50 honeybees then he can sell honey worth at least 2 lakh rupees in a year. This is an additional income and due to bee keeping, there is an increase in the farm produce as well as honeybees supplement farming, today I got the opportunity to lay the foundation-stone for that thing as well.
Secondly, if you go to any other corner of India then sweets are offered before any auspicious work, Gujarat is the only state which offers ice cream during auspicious work and today Amreli is also starting a dairy ice cream plant. Many congratulations for both these new schemes and government of India will offer 400 lakh rupees for these schemes so that the work on these schemes can move ahead smoothly.
I would request my brothers in the farming community that bee farming can be done naturally in the fields without any extra effort and if we make arrangements for that and if we market the produce well then it can generate good revenue. And not only that, let’s assume that there is no sale then the children at our homes will have honey, it is very good for health. And therefore for sweet revolution, wherever there is dairy network in Gujarat we will connect it with honey revolution and move towards a new revolution in India.
India's sea coast is vast, but Gujarat's sea coast makes a huge contribution to the Blue Revolution. We are moving towards water ways, towards Ghogha-Dahej ferry service. We are working on port development; we are working on port led development. If we are required to send goods through the coastal route to Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh or we can deliver tiles from our Morbi to Kolkata in the East at a minimum cost through sea route. So, in a way, the government is working towards pushing the blue revolution which will lead to a major change in the livelihood of those living along the coasts of Gujarat. Encouraging the youth of coastal Gujarat to join navy, to train them and guide them so that they can join navy to serve our mother India, government of India is promoting such schemes to encourage them to do so. Our Rupala Ji told me just a while ago that after Jivraj Mehta, no new college has come up here. And after Jivraj Bhai Mehta this revolution took place in the education sector only after we came to power. Broad gauge railway, National Highway, Amreli people had given up hope that such things will ever come here. You have given me a chance to serve in Delhi, today both your demands are moving forward at a fast pace.
Brothers and sisters, we will soon complete 75 years of our independence. During the freedom struggle, Amreli district was at forefront among all the districts. How do we celebrate 75 years of our independence, what kind of India should we gift to those who fought for our freedom, how do we give them the India of their dreams? I think that right now our Amreli district, municipalities of Amreli, Tehsil panchayats of Amreli, district panchayats of Amreli, village panchayats, cooperative societies, educational institutions, social institutions should collectively resolve that by 2022, within five years, we will give this much to the country in any case, and fulfill that resolution by planning what we should do on daily basis during these five years. We must complete our journey from resolution to accomplishment. It is our dream that the income of the farmer of our country doubles by 2022.
Brothers and sisters, if we move ahead in a systematic way, if we move ahead with precision, then the Indian farmer has this kind of strength and the government, the society and the farmers can achieve this by working together. But for that we will have to move away from traditional systems and go towards modernity. New things will have to be accepted. Today we have completed the Narmada project; it is a glorious day in the life of Gujarat. It is a very glorious day; but if we develop the habit of using Narmada water through drip irrigation, and also introduce drip irrigation to our farming system then not only it will benefit us but we will be able to benefit our generations for the next 100 years. And therefore we have ensured that we will use Narmada water in that particular way. Gujarat has taken a big step. Gujarat accounts for 25% of the total drip irrigation practiced in the country and farmers of Gujarat deserve congratulations for that. But things should not stop at that, there is a lot of scope to do much more and we must try in that direction. Two other things with agriculture: many farmers have gone towards solar pump. Not a single rupee electricity bill will be there. Using a solar panel in his own farm, the farmer can run a pump and get water from that pump. If farmers are able to save on electricity bills then their expenses is reduced by thousands of rupees. Nowadays many farmers are moving towards the solar-powered pumps in big scale. Now tell me if you have drip irrigation, solar pumps and electricity generated from solar power, will it reduce the expenses or not? Income will increase or not? And our land has a good use and therefore it is my request to the farmers that they must come forward in this direction also so that friends of cooperative movement can move forward in this direction.
Together all the farmers must install solar panels near their farms and produce electricity collectively and as a result, farmers will come out of two of their main expenditures - electricity and water. Just imagine the change it will bring to the lives of farmers. There is one more thing which I would request; we waste almost 2 to 3 meters of our land by putting wire fence around it. Can we do timber farming there instead? Government of India is contemplating to bring a new law so that farmers who do timber farming at the periphery of their fields, they will get the rights to sell that timber and the forest department of the government will not trouble them in any way; thus enabling the farmers with more power. Our government is working towards bringing such a law. Our land is lying useless and the country has to import timber wood from abroad. If the farmers of our country want then they can do timber farming and put an end to the import of timber wood. Won’t it increase the income of farmers?
And in addition to all these things animal husbandry is also there. If we compare per cattle milk production in our country then it is far below than the global average. How the livestock should be raised? What arrangements should be made to keep them healthy? What kind of fodder they should be fed? As per our old traditions they eat whatever they get and because of that our per-cattle milk production is far less than the potential. Today, what does a farmer do if he wants to increase the milk production? He will increase the number of cattle from two to four, from four to eight, which in turn increases his cost. Instead of that if we focus on how we can get more milk from just two animals then the income of the farmer will increase and the burden on the farmer will also be reduced. Since the animal husbandry work is done mainly by our sisters, so they get good training. We are working in that direction.
In a way, for the first time our farmers are being protected in the country. Schemes like Prime Minister's Crop Insurance Scheme - Krishi Bima Yojana has been launched. For the first time there is a scheme for you people to get insurance amount if there is no crop because of natural calamity. If the harvest is still lying in the field and within 15 days rain comes, still the money is paid for that harvest. This kind of insurance scheme has been brought for the first time by the government of India. And for every rupee farmers have to pay only 2 paise, responsibility of the remaining 98 paise will be jointly borne by the central and the state governments. Two paise for every rupee, this humongous task has become possible because you have installed a government in Delhi which loves farmers. And today farmers are also benefitting from that.
Farmers are moving towards crop insurance. Those who have a habit of doing wrong things they will take time; but I know they will feel that despite doing wrong things they are getting benefits and they can live well. Then the wrongdoer will turn to the other side and the righteous people will get a lot of benefits; the Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme is like this.
We do farming and horticulture in our country but in spite of that fruits and vegetables worth crores of rupees go waste. We have set up a Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana. Under this scheme value addition to the goods that have been produced is being done. If you sell raw mango then you will get less money but if you sell ripe mangoes then you will get more money. This is called value addition. If you make pickle from the raw mangoes then you will get more money. And if you pack it beautifully and advertise your product then you will get even better prices, this is called value addition. Green chilies will be sold cheap; red chilies will sell for more. But if chilies are converted into chili powder then it will get even a higher price. With value addition farmers also get more benefits. If you sell milk you will get less money, if you prepare Khoya (condensed milk) and sell it then you will get more money. If you prepare Pedas from Khoya and sell it then you will make yet more money. Government has launched Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sampada Yojana to take farmers on the path of value addition. Government has planned to make Food Park on a large scale. In the month of November we are calling companies from all over the world in the field of food processing so that they can guide our farmers by supporting them in the value addition of their produce. Government of India has made provisions of thousands of crores of rupees via Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sampada Scheme to encourage our farmers to come forward in the area of food processing.
Brothers and sisters, villages of Gujarat should become prosperous; farmers of Gujarat should prosper; farmers of our country should get the benefit of this scheme and farmers of our country should become prosperous. And today when government of India is moving ahead with so many projects to bring an economic revolution in the rural life of the country and when our Amreli district has taken many projects under the cooperative sector in White Revolution, Sweet Revolution, Blue Revolution, APMC and Dairy Engineering then Government of India will always be with you. Whenever you move ahead you will always find Government of India with you. This is the policy of Government of India and any district, any cooperative scheme of any district can benefit from it. Amreli should take its full advantage; districts of Gujarat should take full advantage of this thing.
Many congratulations to all you.