Lucknow, Dec 25 (PTI) For a few minutes Friday, Uttar Pradesh farmer Ram Gulab shared the spotlight with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him over a video link how a group of small land holders came together to get better returns from their fields.
The interaction was part of an event, telecast live, in which Modi released over Rs 18,000 crore to nine crore farmer families under the 'Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi' (PM-KISAN).
The farmer said he earlier grew paddy, wheat and vegetables on his one-acre farm.
“We formed a group 100 small farmers and have now sown a new variety of sweet potato. Now, 300 farmers have joined the group,” Ram Gulab, who is from Bargadwa Raja village in Maharajganj district, said.
He said the group has entered into an agreement to provide sweet potato to Tuber Foods Private limited, an Ahmedabad company.
Earlier, they sold the crop at Rs 10 to 15 per kilo. “But now, an agreement has been struck at Rs 25 per kilo with no conveyance charges or middlemen as the company picks it up directly from the fields,” he said.
Modi asked him about the new farm reforms.
When Ram Gulab indicated that it was a positive move, the prime minister said his remarks will help others understand that they will not lose their land when they strike deals for selling their crops.
He congratulated Ram Gulab for bringing 300 farmers together and hoped that this step will bring a revolution in Maharajganj district, which will spread to the entire state.
The event took place against the backdrop of farmers’ protests against three new agri-marketing laws enacted at the Centre.
The protesting farmers, most of them from Punjab and Haryana, claim the laws will lead to the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system.
The Modi government has assured that the MSP will stay and the new laws only provide more options to farmers to sell their crop.
Ram Gulab is also a beneficiary of schemes like CM Awas Yojana, PM Saubhagya Yojana, PM Ujjwala Yojana and Kisan credit card, according to the state government.
Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who joined the event from the state capital, said the new laws have given hope of prosperity to farmers.
“These laws will help in ensuring that farmers get the right price for their produce, increase their income and improve their living standard,” he said.
Adityanath said the entire country is aware of the prime minister’s commitment towards farmers’ progress. He claimed that the maximum number of schemes for farmers in independent India have been run by the Modi government.
The dream of prosperity for farmers is being realised, he said.
During the event, an amount of Rs 4,260 crore was transferred online to over 2.13 crore Uttar Pradesh farmers under the PM-Kisan scheme. PTI SAB ASH ASH