Must save farmers from climate crisis: PM in Hyderabad

Published on Feb 05, 2022 11:38 PM IST

Modi also inaugurated the institute’s Climate Change Research Facility on Plant Protection and Rapid Generation Advancement Facility.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the unveiling of the 'Statue of Equality, a 216-foot tall statue of 11th-century saint Ramanujacharya, in Hyderabad.(PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the unveiling of the 'Statue of Equality, a 216-foot tall statue of 11th-century saint Ramanujacharya, in Hyderabad.(PTI)
By, Hyderabad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that his government is promoting organic farming to protect farmers from the challenges of climate crisis through the fusion of two concepts -- “back to basics” and “march towards the future” -- with digital agriculture.

The government has made provisions to this effect in this year’s Budget, the PM said at an event to mark the golden jubilee celebrations of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) at Patancheru on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

Modi also inaugurated the institute’s Climate Change Research Facility on Plant Protection and Rapid Generation Advancement Facility.

Addressing the event, the Prime Minister said, “To save our farmers from climate challenge, our focus is on the fusion of both ‘Back to basics’ and ‘March to future’. Our focus is on more than 80% of small farmers of the country who need us the most. One important aspect of the changing India is digital agriculture. The Union Budget 2022-23 is focused on natural farming and digital agriculture.”

“We are working towards higher agricultural growth, inclusive growth and conserving natural resources,” he said.

The government is introducing modern technology in the sector to revolutionise farming, he said. “We are allocating more funds for usage of drone technology in cultivation and also digitalisation of cultivable lands,” he said.

“Digital agriculture is gaining popularity and this is something we will also have to adopt in the times to come,” the Prime Minister said.

The Narendra Modi government, in December 2021, cancelled three pieces of agricultural legislation after nearly 13 months of widespread protests by peasants. The three laws were the cornerstone of the government’s reforms in the farm sector, which employs nearly half all Indians. The scrapped laws were designed to free up restrictions in farm trade and allow traders to stockpile large quantities of farm produce for future trade. They also sought to lay down a national framework for contract farming.

During his address on Saturday, the Prime Minister said that research facilities at ICRISAT are playing a key role in strengthening the agriculture sector as he launched a commemorative stamp issued to mark the institute’s golden jubilee.

Referring to 15 Agro-Climatic Zones and six different seasons in India, he said the country has a very diverse and ancient experience related to agricultural practices.

“India has diverse agro-climatic zones, many seasons, rich farming traditions and a zeal for innovation. This augurs well for the growth of the agriculture sector,” he said.

The Centre is focusing on nutrition security along with food security in the country, the Prime Minister said, adding that a special emphasis is being laid on micro-irrigation facilities. “With this vision, we have developed many bio-fortified varieties in the last seven years... We are providing nearly 170 districts with drought- proofing solutions across the country,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the fruits of green revolution did not reach farmers throughout the country due to poor irrigation facilities. “In order to tackle this situation, the government has contemplated inter-linking of rivers so that farmers across the country get proper irrigation facilities.”

Calling for an increase in the area under palm oil cultivation to 6.5 lakh hectares, Modi said the government will extend all assistance to farmers to step up more plantations. “We shall encourage the Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to increase the oil palm cultivation,” he said.

The Prime Minister also praised the holistic approach adopted by the farmers in the neighbour states in promoting pulses and chick pea production in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and integrating farmers with their markets. “Your research and technology have helped making agriculture easy and sustainable,” Modi said.

The government is focused on building FPOs (Farmer Producer Organizations) and the agriculture value chain, the PM said. “By organizing the small farmers of the country into thousands of FPOs, we want to make them aware of big market force,” added Prime Minister Modi.

Hailing ICRISAT’s efforts in strengthening India’s agriculture sector, Prime Minister said the institute has experience of five decades of helping other nations in making agriculture easy and sustainable. “Today, I am hopeful that they will continue to deliver their expertise to strengthen India’s ‘Krishi’ sector.”

Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundarrajan, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Union tourism minister G Kishan Reddy and ICRISAT director-general Jacqueline d’Arros Hughes participated in the golden jubilee celebrations of the institute.

Later in the day, the PM inaugurated a 216-feet tall Statue of Equality commemorating the 11th-century Bhakti Saint Sri Ramanujacharya in Shamshabad.

The 216-feet tall Statue of Equality commemorates the 11th-century Bhakti Saint Sri Ramanujacharya, who promoted the idea of equality in all aspects of living including faith, caste, and creed, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

(With agency inputs)

Get Latest India Newsalong with Latest Newsand Top Headlinesfrom India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, December 04, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals