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Gandhinagar, Thursday: Chief Minister Narendra Modi today exuded confidence that the success of Krishi Mahotsav in Gujarat would surely bring about a revolution of sorts in a predominantly agrarian country like India.

Speaking at the Krishi Mahotsav function for the south Gujarat region at Nanapondha village in Valsad district, he said the Krishi Mahotsav being launched on the auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritiya every year for the seventh successive year has helped the state increase its agricultural production as well as establishing its identity as the front ranked agricultural state. In monetary term, agricultural production has increased from Rs.14,000-crore to Rs.59,000-crore and is likely to reach a record Rs.70,000-crore this year.

Nearly one lakh government employees, besides 700 agricultural scientists from the four state agricultural universities, brave the scorching Sun, to cover all the 18,000 villages in the state during the month-long Mahotsav, creating awareness about the advantages of standard seeds, optimum use of water and other inputs.

Mr. Modi said the mega event has helped farmers increase production, especially horticulture, with the help of soil health cards, taking maximum advantage of soil conditions befitting specific crops. He asked farmers to adopt group schemes to share water from check dams, bori' bunds and farm ponds.

He said the state has also taken many a step in the field of animal husbandry, cropping pattern, drip irrigation, etc. The newly opened Animal Hostel at Akodara is a unique concept. He said the interaction of the officials with the farmers and other rural folks, literally at their doorsteps, indirectly help all round development of the villages.

The Chief Minister inaugurated a Milk Chilling Plant with one-lakh litre capacity at Motapondha which he said would empower the forest people and particularly the women living in the nearby areas.Forest and Environment Minister Mangubhai Patel described how the Krishi Mahotsav has helped the tribal people living in remote areas, having taken up horticulture and even floriculture.

In her welcome address, State Assembly Whip Ushaben Patel said the Krishi Mahotsav is an ideal example of people's participation for agriculture-oriented growth. Navsari Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor A.R. Pathak proposed a vote of thanks.

State Planning Board Vice-Chairman Bhupendrasinh Chudasma said the Krishi Mahotsav manifests the government's concern for the land tillers, providing important guidelines to them. It is indirectly helping them improve their lifestyle, too.

The Chief Minister and other dignitaries unveiled relevant handbooks and compact discs, and presented awards to progressive farmers in the districts under the jurisdiction of the farm varsity.

Prominent among others present on the occasion included Ministers Purushottam Solanki, Ishwarsinh Patel and Ranjit Giitwala, Members of Parliament Kanji Patel, Bharasinh Parmar, C. R. Patel, MLAs Dolat Desai, R.C. Patel, Lakshambhai, Bhartiben, Jitubhai, Nareshbhai, Raman Patkar, Vijaybhai, District and Taluka Panchayat Presidents, Vasudhara Dairy Chairman Monghai, leaders of co-operative scoecieties, Principal Secretary (Animal Husbandry) Rajivkumar Gupta, Collector, DDO and SP.

Gujarat Information Bureau

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