Vice President Venkaiah Naidu today said agriculture and farmers deserve special focus from the government and issues related to cultivators should be widely discussed in legislative bodies and the media.
The focus should be more on villages and agriculture, he said and suggested removal of restrictions over movement of farm produce in the country.
Naidu was speaking after the inauguration of ‘Agrovision’, a summit on the farm sector and its allied segments, at the Reshimbagh Ground in Nagpur.
“I am a farmer myself and I am proud of it as farmers are providers of food to the country (andaata). The basic culture of India is agriculture and it is the responsibility of the government to look after the concerns of farmers,” he said.
Issues related to the key sector should be discussed at various forums, the vice president said.
“The concerns of farmers, who was not organised, should be the main topic of discussion in Parliament, state legislatures, panchayats, research institutes and the media,” he said.
Naidu emphasised on time-bound programmes for providing agriculture solutions in the form of cold storage, refrigerator van system, timely crop loans, godowns in rural areas, crop insurance and advice on farming techniques.
“These initiatives are very necessary so that the farmers do not move away from farming,” the vice president said.
The government, the science and technology department, the NABARD and banks should come to the aid of farmers, who should be the top priority for the country, Naidu said.
Because farmers are not organised, there is a feeling in the rural areas that they are a neglected lot, he said.
“There is a need for increase in budget for agriculture and irrigation to ensure development of farmers,” Naidu said.
The vice president highlighted the need for regular electricity and better roads in rural areas.
He praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the pro- farmer initiatives taken by his government.