27 Sep 2020: #MannKiBaat: PM Modi focuses on farmers amid criticism over Bills
As his government faces criticism from the opposition and former allies over three agriculture reform Bills, Prime Minister Narendra Modi used his radio program Mann Ki Baat as an opportunity to address concerns, saying that farmers have only benefited whenever binding laws have been changed.
He said farmers are playing an important role in building an Aatmabirbhar Bharat.
Here are the highlights.
Statement: Farm sector remained unscathed during coronavirus pandemic
PM Modi said the agriculture sector showed its prowess during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Our farmers, our villages are the foundation of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, if they are strong the country will be strong," he said.
"There is a saying in our country, one who is grounded, stays firm even during the biggest of storms," he said, adding that the farm sector is its biggest example.
Example: He cited example of farmer who struggled to sell produce
Making a case for the Bills, which the federal government says will open new opportunities for the farmers, PM Modi cited the example of Kanwarpal Chauhan, a farmer from Haryana's Sonipat district.
Chauhan, PM Modi said, struggled to sell his produce outside mandis, and faced issues like his vehicles being seized.
However, when fruits/vegetables were removed from the APMC Act, he benefited, PM added.
Fact: "After rules were changed, Sonipat farmers benefited"
"With his friends, he [Chauhan] set up a farmer producer community, 4 years ago. Today, over 350 farmers of Manouli village (Sonipat) are growing," PM Modi said, adding that they earned Rs. 2.5-3 lakh per annum per acre by growing sweet corn and baby corn.
Details: Likewise in Mizoram, farmers selling chili powder at respectable rates
Chauhan isn't the only one to have reaped benefits, he added.
"In Mizoram's Siaha village, farmers used to grow Bird's Eye chili. But, farmers got only up to Rs. 50 per kilogram. Farmers developed storage and processing facilities with the help from local administration," PM Modi disclosed.
Now, the same farmers sell Bird's Eye chili powder for up to Rs. 3,000/kg.
What he said: PM Modi spent quite some time focusing on storytelling tradition
Before he spoke about farmers and how India needs their participation to become self-reliant, PM Modi spoke at length about the age-old tradition of storytelling.
He said as families handled the coronavirus pandemic, they struggled to find ways to make moments joyous and started feeling the absence of old customs.
Asking families to set time for storytelling, he said stories bring "light to emotions."
Details: Promote storytellers on social media: PM Modi urged citizens
The BJP leader appreciated the efforts of those who are popularizing the long-lost tradition.
"Geeta Ramanujam has concentrated on stories in Kathalaya.org. On the other hand, through The Indian Storytelling Network, a network is being developed of storytellers of different cities," he added.
PM Modi wants Indians to promote such people on social media and also urged families to narrate tales of India's achievers.