Highlighting his government’s initiatives in the agriculture sector, PM Narendra Modi has said that all efforts are being made to find long-term solution to farmers’ crisis and reduce dependence on monsoon. In an interview with Times Now, PM Modi said, “Agriculture is a state subject, but the centre is doing all it can to ensure that farmers benefit in the long term.”
1) Water management needs to be done. I have met CMs of 11 drought-hit states individually. I could easily have called a meeting of all states and given them a 10 minute speech, but I have tried to address the problems of all states individually. I am glad to say that irrespective of the party that they belong to, all state governments have come forward to work on water management. We are also focusing on Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojana. Scientific methods, be it micro or drip irrigation are increasingly being adopted for sugarcane and paddy.
2) With focus on minimum premium and maximum return, we have launched the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana. Farmers have to give only 2%, the rest is borne by the government.
3) We have launched the e-mandi, which allows farmers to sell their crop to whichever market they choose, they can decide on the market without having to suffer losses.
4) 100% FDI in food processing has been allowed so that if a company wants to buy tomatoes from farmers to make ketchup, then farmers will benefit. I am encouraging companies like Coca Cola to use 5% fruit juice in their drinks, this will also help farmers.
5) Soil Health card is another area that we are focusing on so that farmers can understand the needs of the soil. Pesticide would only be used, if required, because soil health card would greatly help in understanding the soil.