IFFCO’s ‘birthday gift’ to PM Narendra Modi: Campaign to plant seven lakh trees across India launched
As greetings poured in for Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 69th birthday, the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd. (IFFCO), one of India’s largest cooperatives, decided to celebrate it a bit differently with the kick-off of a nationwide tree plantation campaign from Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday. IFFCO said it was its gift to the prime minister.
Close to 7 lakh trees—a record—was planted by IFFCO staffers from the state, on the first day of the campaign, being carried out in partnership with Kisan Vikas Kendras across India.
Union minister of agriculture & farmers welfare Narendra Singh Tomar who was present for the event held in Muraina, said it was a “herculean yet noble campaign” and went on to appreciate various efforts by IFFCO towards the development of the Indian farmer.
IFFCO’s Managing Director Dr U.S Awasthi said the initiative was aimed to double the income of farmers as envisioned by the prime minister.
“The neem plantation drive of IFFCO has been going on for several years and we have planted close to 10 lakh ‘Neem’ trees across India” he said, and added, “It was a small step in making the dream of the honourable PM possible-- to double the income of the Indian farmers by the year 2020-- and will also contribute to the conservation of the environment. This is IFFCO’s gift to the nation to commemorate the 69th birthday of Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi.”
Apart from the tree plantation drive, IFFCO is engaged in several afforestation and wasteland development efforts across the country. The trees distributed at the campaign were a mix of fruit trees and Neem trees which will not only help in increasing green cover but can also be a passive source of income for the farmers.
In another pro-environment initiative which is also aligned with the government’s conserve water campaign, IFFCO has introduced a new line of fertilizers, which it claims has “minimal environment footprint” and help address micronutrient deficiencies along with conserving water.
Last year Prime Minister Narendra Modi was awarded with the UN’s highest environmental honour, for his leadership of the International Solar Alliance and pledge to eliminate single use plastic in India by 2022. He also donated $ 2,00,000 prize amount received as part of Seoul Peace Prize to Namami Gange Fund run by the Centre to clean the Ganga.