Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi | File photo

Modi to lay stone for Bundelkhand Expressway, launch 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, February 28, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for the Bundelkhand Expressway at Chitrakoot on February 29 and launch 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) all over the country.

The expressway will be supplementing the nodes of the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor announced by the Government of India in February 2018, an official press release said.

The State Government is constructing the Bundelkhand Expressway which will pass through the districts of Chitrakoot, Banda, Hamirpur and Jalaun. The expressway will link the Bundelkhand area to the national capital Delhi through the Agra-Lucknow expressway and Yamuna expressway as well as play a vital role in the development of Bundelkhand region, it said.

The 296-km-long expressway is expected to benefit Chitrakoot, Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Jaloun, Oraiyah and Etawah districts, the release said.

India has huge defence equipment requirements spanning from land systems, ships and submarines to fighter aircraft, helicopters, weapons and sensors. The requirements are worth over $ 250 billion by 2025.

In order to fulfil these requirements, the government had announced setting up of Defence Industrial Corridor in Uttar Pradesh during the Investors Summit in February 2018 at Lucknow.

The Central government has set up the corridor with identification of six nodes initially. These are Lucknow, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Aligarh, Kanpur, Agra out of which two nodes are being created in Bundelkhand region at Jhansi and Chitrakoot. In fact, the biggest cluster would be created at Jhansi.

The land which was not being cultivated has been purchased in both Jhansi and Chitrakoot, benefitting the poor farmers of the region, the release said.

Modi will also be launching 10,000 Farmers Producer Organisations all over the country at Chitrakoot, on that day. Nearly 86% of farmers are small and marginal with average land holdings in the country being less than 1.1 hectare.

These small, marginal and landless farmers face tremendous challenges during agriculture production phase such as for access to technology, quality seed, fertilizers and pesticides including requisite finances. They also face tremendous challenges in marketing their produce due to lack of economic strength.

FPOs help in collectivization of such small, marginal and landless farmers in order to give them the collective strength to deal with such issues. Members of the FPO will manage their activities together in the organization to get better access to technology, input, finance and market for faster enhancement of their income.

Though the report on "Doubling of Farmer’s Income" (DFI) has recommended formation of 7,000 FPOs by 2022 towards convergence of efforts for doubling the farmers’ income, the central Government announced the creation of 10,000 new FPOs to ensure economies of scale for farmers over the next five years, the release said.

In the Union Budget, 2020-21, Government also proposed adopting a cluster approach for horticulture produce through the strategy of “one district one product” for promoting value addition, marketing and export.

The Government launched a new dedicated Central Sector Scheme titled "Formation and Promotion of Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs)" with clear strategy and committed resources to form and promote 10,000 new FPOs.

Modi will be distributing Assistive Aids and Devices to Senior Citizens (under the Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana-RVY) and Persons with Disabilities (Under ADIP Scheme) at a mega distribution camp at Prayagraj on that day.

This is the biggest ever distribution camp being conducted in the country in terms of the number of beneficiaries covered, number of appliances distributed and value of aids and appliances distributed.

In the mega camp, over 56,000 Assistive Aid and Devices of different types will be distributed free of cost to over 26,000 beneficiaries. The cost of the aids and devices is over Rs 19 Crore.

The objective is to provide assistance through these aids and devices to the daily living and socio-economic development of persons with disabilities and senior citizens.