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Modi says farmers being misled about agriculture reforms
Bhuj, December 15, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said farmers were being misled about the agriculture reforms carried out recently and asserted that the government was always committed to welfare of the farming community.
Speaking after unveiling several developmental projects in his home state of Gujarat at a function in Kutch, Modi said that the reforms that had been implemented are exactly what farmer bodies and even the opposition parties had been asking for over the years.
The Government is always committed to farmers' welfare and it would keep assuring the farmers and addressing their concerns, he said.
His remarks assume importance against the background of the protests being held for the past 20 days by farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other states on Delhi's borders with its neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
The farmers are, among other things, demanding the repeal of the three Central farm laws passed by Parliament in September. The Government has held five rounds of talks with the leaders of the farmers' unions and offered to make some amendments in the laws to address the farmers' concerns but the agitating farmers are insisting that the laws be repealed.
The projects unveiled in Gujarat today include a desalination plant, a hybrid renewable energy park, and a fully automated milk processing and packing plant. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was present on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, Modi said there was a need for farmers to keep up with the changing times and embrace global best practices. He lauded the farmers in Kutch in this regard, as they are now exporting fruits abroad. He said this indicates the innovative zeal of the farmers.
He said the agriculture, dairy and fisheries sectors have prospered in Gujarat over the last two decades due to minimum interference from the Government. What Gujarat did was to empower farmers and cooperatives.
The Prime Minister said that, today, Kutch had taken a big leap in both new age technology and new age economy.
The foundation stone laid for the renewable energy park in Kharera, desalination plant in Mandvi and the automatic plant at Sarhad Dehri in Anjar are going to create new milestones in the development journey of Kutch.
He added that the benefit of these projects would accrue to the tribals, farmers, cattle ranchers and common people of the region. He remarked that today, Kutch is one of the fastest growing regions of the country. The connectivity here is getting better day by day, he said.
The Prime Minister recalled the moment in time when the people of Gujarat had a "simple" demand - to get electricity during dinner time. He said things have changed so much in Gujarat. Today’s youth in Gujarat are not even aware of the earlier days of inconvenience, he said. The Prime Minister recalled that the population in Kutch used to have negative growth. Now that people have stopped going out, the population is thriving as people are coming back.
He called upon the researchers and universities to do a case-study on Kutch's four-fold development post the massive earthquake of January 26, 2001.
He lauded the Gujarat Government for introducing many farmer-friendly schemes in the last twenty years. He said Gujarat was a pioneer to work on strengthening solar energy capacities.
The Prime Minister remarked that energy security and water security are vital in the 21st century. He said that the early teams were mocked when they spoke of getting Narmada waters to Kutch to solve the problem of scarcity. Now, Narmada waters have reached Kutch and the area is progressing, he added.