Agri sector in need of urgent reform, working to free small farmers from 'pressure' of middlemen: PM Modi
The agriculture sector needs urgent reform and modernisation, and the Indian government has initiated reforms that would free the small farmers from the pressure of middlemen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.
During his poll campaign in Dharapuram, he invoked Tamil classic Thirukkural and said respect for farmers is one common theme in it.
"The world must follow the farmers as farming is the base, and farmers are the linchpin of the world for they support all others who cannot till the land," he said, quoting the Kural.
The Indian government has initiated reforms that would free the small farmers from the pressure of middlemen, he asserted. Measures, including soil health card, Kisan credit card, and e-NAM schemes, are aimed at empowering farmers.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, in its manifesto for the April 6 assembly polls, announced annual assistance of Rs 6,000 for fishermen and farmers, he said.
The agriculture sector is facing water shortage problems, and to address it, the NDA government has begun many efforts towards water conservation, guided by the mantra of per drop more crop.
Farmers were helped to transform their cultivation methods, and "old irrigation structures are being repaired and new ones are also being built," he said.
The government launched the Jal Jeevan Mission, intending to provide water to all households.
To date, almost 16 lakh rural households in Tamil Nadu have got access to tap water connection. "From the farmland to your homes, every possible effort will be made to ensure adequate water," the PM said.
In another development, the PM highlighted that MSMEs are going to be one of the key focus areas of the NDA government.
While addressing the election rally in Puducherry on Tuesday, March 30, he said that Rs 14,000 crore has been sanctioned for 3.16 lakh MSMEs in the state, with almost 1.5 lakh people directly linked to the sector benefitting.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)