PM Modi on Monday emphasised on farmers getting more avenues to sell crops and said a food processing revolution was needed in the country for value addition to farm produce and to realise better prices.
Addressing a webinar on effective implementation of Budget provisions regarding the Agriculture Ministry, he underlined the need for increased participation of private players in the farm sector, including in research and development (R&D) work.
Without making any direct reference to the new farm laws or to the farmers’ agitation, Modi said there is a need for expanding options for the country’s farming community to sell agri produce. “Today the need of the hour is that farmers of the country get more and more options to sell their produce,” he said.
Restrictions had a negative impact on the sector, he added. Highlighting various provisions for agriculture in the Union Budget, the PM said agriculture credit target has been hiked to Rs16.5 lakh crore with priority to animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries sector.
The prime minister laid emphasis on the effective and timely implementation of the budget provisions so that benefits reach to maximum people. “There is a need for post harvest revolution or food processing revolution and value addition in the country in the 21st century, amidst ever-increasing agricultural production,” he said.
It would have been very good for the country if this work was done two-three decades ago, Modi said. For food processing revolution, the public-private partnerships and cooperative sectors will have to come forward with full strength along with the farming community, Modi said.
He said there is a need for crop diversification. “We now have to give such options to farmers in which they are not limited to growing wheat and rice. We can try from organic food to salad-related vegetables, there are several crops,” he said.
Source: Free Press Journal