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Gandhiagar, Thursday: Gujarat Chief Minister Sheri Narendrabhai Modi today gave a call for protesting the Congress-ruled Central Government's series of anti-farmer policies to totally ruin India's core competence in agriculture.

Addressing the Krishi Mahotsava function of seven districts in Saurahtra region at the Junagadh Agricultural University at Junagadh, he said the Centre's cheating the cotton growers by imposing the first-of-its-kind export duty on raw cotton is a sin. The farmers have incurred a loss of Rs.2,000-crore in a month.

To cite more examples, he recalled that recently when the farmers had increased sugarcane production, the Centre allowed large-scale export, ignoring the nation's requirement. And, when it resulted in sugar prices sky rocketing, the Centre allowed sugar import at prohibitive prices. It is high time the farmers question the Centre's intents.

Shri Modi wondered what had happened to Lal Bahadur Shastri's famous slogan of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan' which made Indian farmers self-reliant.

Referring to the annual Krishi Mahotsav, he said it is an occasion for experts from four agricultural universities besides directorate of agriculture to reach the farmers to create awareness about the latest development in agriculture. In all, 225 Krishi Rath would tour as many talukas and visit each village during the Mahotsav. It has assumed special significance in the year of the state's golden jubilee.

The Chief Minister exuded confidence that Gujarat would lead the Second Green revolution in India by prudent use of water through drip irrigation, organic fertilizers and improved seeds. He suggested a small ‘khet talavdi' in a corner of each ‘khet' to let rain water percolate in the ground and recharge the underground water table. The success of ‘terrace talavdi' experiment on the Chotila hills would be implemented on Girnar hills also.

Speaking on the occasion, Agriculture Minister Dilipbhai Sanghani asked the farmers to take advantage of the government's proactive policy of reaching out to farmers during the Krishi Mahotsav. Earlier, he said, farmers had to fight for their rights. It is due to the farsightedness of Chief Minister Modi that the six-year-old mahotsav has started paying dividends now in the form of increased farm output.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Rajya Sabha Member Shri Purshottam Rupala and BJP state president Shri R.C. Faldu. It was attended by Finance Minister Shri Vajubhai Vala, Minister of State Shri Vasanbhai Ahir, MPS, MLAs and senior officers.
 
Commissionerate of Information, Gujarat
 
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