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Gujarat CM attends Krishi Mahotsav at Agricultural University in Navsari

Gujarat CM Smt. Anandiben Patel attended Krishi Mahotsav at Agricultural University in Navasari today. Speaking on the occasion of 12th such Krishi Mahotsav organized in the state, CM Smt. Patel highlighted the various initiatives undertaken by the government for the development and prosperity of farmers like Ravi Krishi Mahotsav.

Talking about the widespread effects of climate change and global warming resulting in irregular and infrequent rains, CM Smt. Patel laid stress on adopting scientific ways of agriculture like drip irrigation. She informed that in the past, barely 1 lakh hectares of land in the state was irrigated using drip irrigation, but that number slowly increased to 2.5 lakh hectares when the government started providing subsidy and today that number stands at 12 lakh hectares. Also, farmers are now using vermicompost instead of chemical fertilizers. This not only promotes organic farming leading to better produce but also enables the farmer to earn extra income by selling off extra stock of vermicompost fertilizer. CM Smt. Patel expressed her pride at the fact that farmers of Gujarat are increasingly adopting modern techniques and thus boosting their production and income.

CM Smt. Patel while informing about the increasing demand for organic products said that farmers should adopt the trend and shift towards organic farming as it would lead to sustainable farming and also increase their incomes through exports. She further added that the government has also made arrangements for exporting agricultural produce and the Center for perishable cargo in Ahmedabad which was recently inaugurated is an important step in that direction. Screening, packing, freezing, and grading of Agricultural produce is done there so that it could be certified for quality and exported to countries like USA, UK, Australia, etc. This is the first such initiative in Gujarat. The government has also started constructing storage centers in various parts of Gujarat to store agricultural produce. Land is given at 10% of stamp duty for construction so that more such centers are created in the state.

CM Smt. Patel also urged farmers to educate themselves about the various initiatives launched by the government for the welfare of farmers so that they can take maximum benefits of such initiatives and schemes. CM Smt. Patel also informed about the new Agro Business policy and gave details of the benefits it would bring to farmers. Keeping the welfare of people in mind, CM Smt. Patel announced that the government has decided to increase the assistance provided to widows and families from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 4 lakh in the case of death of a farmer due to agriculture-related accidents. Also, same assistance would be applicable in the case of death of a human by wild animals like lions, cheetahs etc. If cattle get killed by animals then proper assistance as per STRF standards would be applicable.

In order to make sure that farmers get benefits of government initiative of subsidy on interest rates for loans up to Rs. 3 lakh as soon as possible, the government decided that farmers who took loans in 2015-16 will also be covered under the initiative even though the scheme was to be implemented in 2016-17. The loans would be provided at 1% interest rate. The government has already allocated Rs. 375 crore for the payment of subsidies provided on the interest rate of such loans.

Talking about the issue of lack of fertilizers faced by farmers during peak season, CM Smt. Patel said that after discovering that storage centers are required to maintain stock and availability is also inadequate due to fertilizers being sent directly to outside sources from the factories for added profit, the government decided to make the color of fertilizers different as per its application so that agricultural fertilizer is not sold for some other purposes. Moreover, the government has stored adequate fertilizer stock of 2 lakh tons in advance at 50 storage centers across the state so that farmers do not have to face this issue again.

In order to let the government better serve them, CM Smt. Patel urged farmers to convey their needs and grievances to the government so that they can take required steps to resolve their problems and provide help wherever required.

CM Smt. Patel also stressed on making Gujarat healthy and informed about the various initiatives undertaken by the government in this direction like free treatment and screening of breast and cervical cancer in women, ensuring adequate and nutritious food for children suffering from malnutrition, free treatment of children suffering from life-threatening ailments like heart defects etc.

CM Smt. Patel asserted that quality infrastructure is necessary for the development of villages and as a result, the state government has allocated Rs. 2500 crore in this year to construct roads in villages and over the span of 3 years a total of 10000 crore rupees will be allocated for the same purpose.

Talking about continuing on the path of development along the lines of ‘Sauno Saath, Sauno Vikas’, CM Smt. Patel thanked people for their immense support which has enabled Gujarat to shine globally.

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