Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the mass movement for natural farming will be widely successful in the coming years, and the sooner farmers join this change, the more they will reap its benefits.
Addressing a conclave on natural farming organised in Gujarat's Surat city via video conference, Modi also mentioned about the "extraordinary success" of the Digital India Mission, and said it is the country's answer to those who used to say that bringing about a change in villages is not easy.
He said adopting natural farming is akin to serving Mother Earth, by protecting the quality of soil and its productivity, and is also the "basis for economic success.''
Lauding the efforts made in this direction in Surat, he said the natural farming model emerging from Surat can become a model for the entire country.
"This mass movement regarding natural farming will also be widely successful in the coming years. The sooner farmers join the change, the more successful they will be in reaping its benefits," he said.
The PM said if people of the country get determined to achieve a target, then no hurdle will come in the way. People's participation ensures the success of even a big task, he said.
"The extraordinary success of the Digital India Mission is the country's answer to those who used to say that bringing a change in villages is not easy. Our villages have shown that they can not only bring about a change, but can also lead the change," he said.
Modi said natural farming gives India an opportunity to lead the world in the direction of sustainable development and pure food, by sharing its benefits through thousands of years and knowledge and experience which the country has.
"This is one area where India has led the world for centuries. Therefore, now is the time when we move forward on the path of natural farming and take full advantage of the emerging global opportunities," he said.
Natural farming is also the basis for economic success, Modi said.
"As our farmers progress and prosper, as our agriculture progresses, so will our country progress...When you adopt natural farming, you serve Mother Earth, protect the quality of soil, and its productivity. When you do natural farming, you are serving the nature and environment. When you join natural farming, you also get the privilege of serving Gaumata (holy cow)," he said.
In the wake of 75 years of India's independence, the country has started working on many such goals, which will become the basis of major changes in the times to come, he said. "In 'Amrit kaal', the basis of progress of the country is the spirit of everyone's effort, which is leading our development journey," he added.
The PM said countrymen and village panchayats have been asked to lead the works being done for the uplift of villages, the poor and farmers.
Further enumerating the benefits of natural farming, he said it also saves a person from deadly diseases caused by the use of chemicals.
The PM also spoke about measures taken by the government for promoting natural farming through schemes like the 'Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Scheme'.
He said 30,000 clusters have been created across the country under the scheme for the benefit of lakhs of farmers.
Natural farming has also been linked with the Namami Gange project, and a separate campaign has been undertaken to create a natural farming corridor along the Ganga river, he said, adding that similar experiments can be conducted on the banks of the Tapi and Narmada rivers.
Modi said the government has also developed a quality assurance system to certify the natural farming produce. "Our farmers are exporting such produce at a good rate in the world market," he said.
"We must bring the benefits to the maximum number of farmers. Along with the government's efforts, we would also look at our ancient knowledge in this direction," he said, mentioning about various old texts that carry such knowledge.
He appealed to NGOs and experts to focus on natural farming, conduct new experiments to find out how to make farmers strong, improving farming and save Mother Earth.
Modi also hailed the efforts made by people in Surat to promote natural farming.
In Surat, committees and teams have been formed at the village levels, and nodal officers have been given the responsibility at the taluka level, he said, adding that training programmes and workshops are being organised.
"Today, in such a short time, over 40,000 farmers from across 550 village panchayats have joined natural farming. The natural farming model emerging from Surat can become a model for the entire country," he said.
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