New Delhi [India], December 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that time has come for "Brand India" to establish itself in the agricultural markets of the world with equal prestige.
Addressing farmers after releasing an installment under the PM KISAN scheme via video conferencing, Prime Minister Modi said investment and innovation has improved in other sectors, the income was enhanced and "Brand India" was established in that sector.
The Prime Minister expressed regret that more than 70 lakh farmers of West Bengal have not been able to get this benefit. He asserted over 23 lakh farmers of Bengal have applied online to take advantage of this scheme.
"But the state government has stopped the verification process for so long. The parties which do not speak in the interest of farmers in West Bengal, come here to Delhi and talk about the farmer. These parties are missing APMC-mandis nowadays, but these parties repeatedly forget that there are no APMC-mandis in Kerala and these people never agitate in Kerala," he added.
He said that through these agricultural reforms better options were provided to the farmers.
"After these laws, farmers can sell their produce to whomever they want. They can sell their produce wherever they get the right price. With the new laws, farmers can sell their produce at MSP or sell it at market or export or sell it to the merchant, or sell it in another state, or sell it through FPO or be part of the value chain of biscuits, chips, jam, other consumer products," he said.
He said the government worked at aiming to reduce the input cost of the farmers. He listed some farmer-centric initiatives of the Government like Soil Health Card, Neem Coating of Urea, scheme for distribution of solar pumps which helped in reducing the input cost for the farmers.
He added the government tried to ensure that the farmers have a better crop insurance cover.
The Prime Minister said the government tried to ensure that the country's farmers get a fair price for the crop. "The government fixed one and a half times the production cost as minimum support price (MSP) for the farmers as per the recommendations of the long-standing Swaminathan Committee report. The number of crops for which MSP is available were also increased."
He further informed that the government aimed to open new markets for the farmers to sell their crop more than a thousand agricultural mandis of the country online.
"Among these, more than Rs 1 lakh crore have been traded. The government worked towards forming groups of small farmers so that they can work as a collective force in their region. Today, a campaign is underway to form more than 10,000 Farmers Producer Organisations - FPO in the country, they are being given financial help," he said.
The Prime Minister thanked all the farmers across the country who have fully supported and welcomed the agricultural reforms and assured that he will not let them down.
He said people mainly from the rural areas, participated in the recently held local body elections in Assam, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and in a way, rejected all the parties that "misled" farmers. (ANI)