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Modi says private investment in agriculture will help farmers
New Delhi, December 29, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that the recent reforms in agriculture would lead to expansion of agri-business and Farmer Producer Organizations(FPOs) and cooperative groups like women Self Help Groups, which get priority in this sector, would be the biggest beneficiaries.
Speaking after flagging off the 100th Kisan Rail train from Sangola in Maharashtra to Shalimar in West Bengal via video conferencing, he said private investment in agriculture would support the government's efforts to help these groups.
“We will keep on marching on the path of strengthening Indian agriculture and farmers with full dedication,” he said.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal were also present on the occasion.
Modi said the Kisan Rail service was a major step towards increasing the income of the farmers of the country. He expressed happiness that even during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 100 Kisan Rail trains were launched in the last four months.
He said this service would bring a major change in the economy related to farming and will also increase the strength of the country's cold supply chain. He added that no minimum quantity has been fixed to transport through Kisan Rail so that, even the smallest produce will be able to reach the big market properly at a low price.
The Prime Minister said the Kisan Rail project not only shows the commitment of the Government to serve the farmers but also serves as a proof of how fast farmers are ready for new possibilities.
He said farmers can now sell their crops in other states as well, in which farmers' rail (Kisan Rail) and agriculture flights (Krishi Udaan) have a big role. He said that Kisan Rail is a mobile cold storage to move perishable things like fruits, vegetables, milk, fish, etc., with complete security.
“India always had a large railway network, even before independence. Cold storage technology was also available. Only now this strength is being harnessed properly through Kisan Rail,” he said.
Modi said a facility like Kisan Rail has given millions of small farmers of West Bengal a huge facility. This facility is available to the farmer as well as the local small businessman. He said experts in the field of agriculture and experiences from other countries and new technology are being incorporated into Indian agriculture.
Cargo centres are being constructed in the vicinity of railway stations where farmers can store their perishable produce. The effort is to supply as much fruits and vegetables as possible to the household. Extra produce should reach the entrepreneurs engaged in production of juice, pickle, sauce, chips, and so on, he said.
The Prime Minister remarked that the Government’s priority is focussed on storage-linked infrastructure and processing industries associated with value addition in farming products. He said about 6,500 such projects have been approved under Mega Food Parks, Cold Chain Infrastructure and Agro Processing Cluster, under the PM Krishi Sampada Yojana.
He said Rs 10,000 crore have been sanctioned for micro food processing industries under AatmaNirbhar Abhiyan package.
It is the participation and support of the rural people, farmers and youth that makes the government’s efforts successful, he added.