Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated 35 crop varieties with special traits through video conference to the nation. He also dedicated the newly constructed campus of the National Institute of Biotic Stress Management Raipur to the nation. On the occasion, Prime Minister also distributed the Green Campus Award to Agricultural Universities.
The 35 varieties include a drought tolerant variety of chickpea, wilt and sterility mosaic resistant pigeonpea, early maturing variety of soybean, disease resistant varieties of rice and biofortified varieties of wheat, pearl millet, maize and chickpea, quinoa, buckwheat, winged bean and faba bean.
Addressing the people yesterday, Mr Modi said science and technology are being used in the last 6 to 7 years on a priority basis to solve the challenges related to the agriculture. He said the focus is very high on more nutritious seeds, adapted to new conditions, especially in changing climates. The Prime Minister recalled the massive locust attack in various states last year, in the midst of the Corona pandemic. He said India tackled this attack by making a lot of efforts, saving farmers from incurring too much damage.
The Prime Minister stressed that growth becomes rapid whenever farmers and agriculture get a safety net. He informed that 11 crore Soil Health Cards were issued for the protection of the land. The Prime Minister listed farmer-friendly initiatives of the Government such as campaigns to complete about 100 pending irrigation projects for providing water security to the farmers, providing new varieties of seeds to farmers to protect crops from diseases thus getting a higher yield.
He added that along with increasing the MSP, the procurement process was also improved so that more and more farmers can get the benefit. More than 430 lakh metric tonnes of wheat has been procured in the Rabi season and farmers have been paid more than 85 thousand crore rupees. Wheat procurement centres were increased more than three times during the pandemic. The Prime Minister said by connecting farmers with technology, government has made it easier for them to get help from banks. Today farmers are getting weather information in a better way. Recently, more than 2 crore farmers have been given Kisan Credit Cards.
The Prime Minister said efforts are being made to take the farmer out of the crop-based income system and encourage them for value-addition and other farming options. He stressed the need to further develop millets and other grains with solutions from science and research. He said that the purpose is that they can be grown in different parts of the country according to the local needs. He asked people to be prepared to use the opportunities provided by the UN declaring the coming year as the Year of the Millet. Prime Minister Modi also interacted with farmers who use innovative methods and addressed the gathering.