Exhorting farmers to adopt natural farming to protect the soil from harmful impact of chemicals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the crops produced from chemical-free process will fetch higher prices in export market due to demand for healthy products.
“Perhaps there is no village in Surat (district) which does not have families living abroad. Today you have achieved the target (of convincing) 75 farmers in each village; tomorrow 750 farmers will be ready in each village to adopt (natural farming),” Modi said addressing a conclave virtually on Sunday.
“When the entire region will adopt natural farming, the buyers from across the globe will reach out to you because the products (grown here) are free of chemicals and good for health. They will offer higher rates too,” the Prime Minister said adding that quality assurance system is in place for certification of such produce.
Highlighting that the entire world is talking about a sustainable lifestyle, Modi said: “This is one area where India has led the world for centuries...it is the time we move forward on the path of natural farming and take full advantage of global opportunities that are emerging.”
In March, during his address at the Gujarat Panchayat Mahasammelan as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Prime Minister had exhorted at least 75 farmers in each village to adopt natural farming.
Consequently, 75 farmers were identified and trained in each gram panchayat of Surat to undertake natural farming. There are about 800 villages in Surat and as many as 60,000 farmers were targeted for the project. Also, more than 41,000 farmers were trained in 90 different clusters so far.
The prime minister said that 30,000 clusters have been created all over the country under the ‘Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana’ (PKVY) while there is a target to cover 10 lakh hectares under the scheme. Natural farming has been linked with the Namami Gange project and a separate campaign has been undertaken to create a natural farming corridor along the Ganga river.
Modi expressed confidence the Jan Andolan (People’s movement) on natural farming will be a huge success in the coming days and those farmers who get involved early with this movement, will reap great benefit. “This is a great beginning and is very encouraging. The Surat model of natural farming can become a model for the entire country,” he said.
“When you do natural farming, you serve Mother Earth, protect the quality of the soil and increase its productivity. When you do natural farming you are serving nature and the environment. When you join natural farming, you also get the privilege of serving Gaumata”, he said adding 40-50 gaushalas (cow shelters) of Surat have been contacted and they will produce jeevamrut, ghan jeevamrut, which are used as crop nutrients in natural farming.