NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said his government accords top priority in its policy making to small and marginal farmers. Modi virtually transferred the ninth installment of the PM Kisan Nidhi scheme to 9.75 crore farmers. The ninth installment of the scheme, which provides for payment of Rs 2,000 each three times a year directly into the bank accounts of the farmers, cost Rs 19,500 crore to the exchequer.
On the occasion after a brief interaction with beneficiaries, the PM hailed the farmers for increasing the production of pulses in the past six years, and underlined that India is now in the top 10 countries exporting agricultural products. Stating that he had urged the farmers to increase the production of pulses when there was a shortage a few years ago, Modi complimented them saying that there has been an increase of almost 50 per cent in the production in the last six years.
The PM emphasised that Rs 1,70,000 crore was directly paid into the accounts of the farmers for the procurement of rice at the minimum support prices, while the same for the wheat has been about Rs 85,000 crore. “With National Edible Oil Mission-Oil Palm, the country has taken a pledge for self-reliance in edible oil, and more than Rs 11,000 crore will be invested in the cooking oil ecosystem,” he said, adding that small farmers are now being given utmost priority.
On the government bid to work on self-reliance in edible oil, he said it will be ensured that farmers get all the facilities, from quality seeds to technology. Referring to the upcoming 75th Independence Day, he said it was an opportunity for new resolutions. “We have to take this opportunity to decide where we want to see India in the coming 25 years. ...Our agriculture and our farmers have a big role in determining the condition of India in 2047, when the country completes 100 years of independence,” he said.