We must take agriculture out of chemistry lab and connect it to lab of nature: PM Modi
New Delhi, Dec 15: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that natural farming will benefit the country's 80% small-scale farmers the most.
Speaking at National Summit on Agro and Food Processing, PM Modi said that the government has taken several steps in the last 6-7 years to increase the income of the farmers. "Measures from soil testing to hundreds of new seeds, from PM Kisan Samman Nidhi to fixing MSP at 1.5 times the cost of production, from irrigation to a strong network of Kisan Rail have taken the sector in that direction," he claimed.
He acknowledged the key role of chemicals and fertilizers in the Green Revolution and emphasized the need for working on its alternatives simultaneously while warning against the dangers of pesticides and imported fertilizers which lead to increased costs of inputs and also cause damage to health.
PM Narendra Modi added, "We have to take our agriculture out of the lab of chemistry and connect it to the lab of nature. When I talk about nature's laboratory, it is completely science-based,"
According to the Prime Minister, the more modern the world is becoming, the more it is moving towards 'back to basic'. The Prime Minister said, "It means connecting with your roots. Who understands this better than all of you farmer friends? The more we water the roots, the more the plant grows."
"We need not only to re-learn this ancient knowledge of agriculture but also to sharpen it for modern times. In this direction, we have to do research afresh, mould ancient knowledge into the modern scientific frame," he stated.
The Prime Minister urged farmers to be vigilant about the received wisdom. Citing the prevalent notions of burning crop residue, he said that this happens despite experts having established that by setting fire to the field, the earth loses its fertile capacity. He added that an illusion has also arisen that without chemicals the crop will not be good. Whereas the truth is quite the opposite, the press release from the PMO said.
It added, earlier there were no chemicals, but the harvest was good. History of the development of humanity is witness to this. "Along with learning new things, we need to unlearn the wrong practices that have crept into our agriculture", he said. Shri Modi said institutes like ICAR, agriculture universities and Krishi Vigyan Kendras can play a big role in this by taking it beyond papers to practical success.
The Prime Minister further added, "Those who will benefit the most from natural farming, constitute about 80% of the farmers of the country. Those small farmers, who have less than 2 hectares of land. Most of these farmers spend a lot on chemical fertilizers. If they turn to natural farming, their condition will be better.
PM Modi urged every state, every state government, to come forward to make natural farming a mass movement. In this Amrit Mahotsav, efforts should be made to associate at least one village of every panchayat with natural farming, he insisted.
The Prime Minister recalled that at the Climate Change Summit, he called upon the world to make 'Lifestyle for Environment' i.e. LIFE a global mission. India and its farmers are going to lead in this regard in the 21st century. Let's take a pledge to make Maa Bharati's land free from chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, the Prime Minister exhorted the people.
The Gujarat government is organising the National Summit on Agro and Food Processing, with focus on natural farming. The three-day summit is being organised from December 14 to 16. It is being attended by over 5,000 farmers who will be present in the summit, in addition to the farmers connecting live through central institutes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Krishi Vigyan Kendras and ATMA (Agricultural Technology Management Agency) network in states.