Modi fails to mention co-op in his chat with farmers

In his interaction with farmers of the country Prime Minister Narendra Modi did talk about the strength of Farmer Producer Group and FPO but did not mention the role being played by cooperatives in the country from agri inputs to finance to marketing of farmers’ produce.

Modi said Farmer Producer Group and FPO (Farmer Producer Organisation) play big role in getting agricultural inputs at low cost and marketing farmers’ produce effectively.  In the past 4 years, 517 Farmer Producer Organizations have been created and income tax exemption has been granted to Farmer Producer Companies, to encourage cooperatives amongst farmers, he added.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with farmers across the country, through video bridge on Wednesday. Over 2 lakh Common Service Centers (CSC) and 600 KVKs were connected through the video dialogue. This is the first of its kind when Modi interacted directly with the farmers in 600 districts.

Calling farmers the ‘Annadatas’ (food providers) of nation Modi said that the entire credit for nation’s food security should go to the farmers. He covered wide range of agricultural and allied sectors like Organic Farming, Blue Revolution, Animal Husbandry, Horticulture, Floriculture etc.

Outlining his vision for farmers overall welfare  in the country, Prime Minister said that government is working towards doubling the farmer’s income by 2022 and to provide farmers maximum price of their produce. He added that the effort is to ensure that farmers receive help during all steps of farming, from preparation of crops to its sales. He emphasized that Government is keen on ensuring minimal cost of raw material, providing fair value for the produce, stopping wastage of the produce and ensuring alternate sources of income for the farmers.

He said that the Government is committed that farmers should feel that from ‘Beej Se Bazaar’ (Seed to Market), how various initiatives helped the farmers to improve traditional farming.

Interacting with the Prime Minister, beneficiaries of various agricultural schemes explained how various government schemes helped improve production. Beneficiaries also highlighted the importance of Soil Health Card and shared their experiences of cooperative movement.

But what the beneficiaries did not tell Modi is the fact that KVK-the main agency of govt- fails to reach out to remote villages as recently found out by the team of Indian Cooperative. Majority of the farmers in the country have no idea what is Soil-testing; PACS refuse to buy their produce and presence of a mere 517 FPOs are like drop in the ocean.

Grand schemes announced from Krishi Bhawan have failed to achieve its target the way Ujjawala or giving electricity to villages have done.

PM, however said the agriculture sector has developed rapidly in the last 48 months. He added that there has been record production of milk, fruits and vegetables in the country during the period. He talked of doubling agri budget and growth of food grain productions. The period also saw 26 % increase in fish farming due to Blue Revolution and 24% increase in Animal Husbandry and milk production, Modi added.

He also mentioned Soil Health Cards; credit through Kisan Credit Cards; quality fertilizers through the provision of Neem coated Urea, crop insurance through Fasal Bima Yojana and irrigation through Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana.

Modi also referred to e-NAM, bringing nearly 22 lakh hectare land under organic farming and government plan to promote North-East as the hub of Organic Farming.

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    Its time PM gjives a talk on COOPERATIVES as a national integration theme. There could be a PRIME MINISTERSS National Cooperation Day in the Nation i.e accross all States UTs.

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