Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an appeal to bring focus on organic farming and allied sectors in order to empower farmers and increase their income.
“Farming is not just about growing wheat, mustard, pulses. Farmers’ income can be increased if focus is given on allied sectors along with the organic farming,” Modi said while addressing an event organised by Bharatiya Agri Industries Foundation (Baif) in Pune through video conferencing.
He said there was “a global demand” for medicinal and aromatic plant species grown in India.
“There is economic scope for organic as well as medicinal and aromatic plants cultivation. We need to bring awareness among farmers about it. People want freedom from chemicals. A huge market for natural products in emerging,” he said.
Modi added that machines to extract fragrance from flower were not costly.
He said tribals in Gujarat’s Dahod districts had brought their farms under floriculture.
“They can sell (flower) extract in the cosmetic market now,” he said.
He said that there was “huge potential” for organic farming in the northeastern states.
Stressing on need to empower farmers, Modi said: “If we do not empower our farmers, our dream of new India will remain unfulfilled. So the government is working to double their income by 2022.”
Modi said that progressive farmers and agriculture departments were supposed to inform farmers about any farm product or material can be used.
“Nothing is wasted. Even residue of sugarcane can be used to produce ethanol. We are working on it. According to a study, an organic farmer can earn additional Rs 2 lakh by setting up small 50 bee colony unit. Bees play important role in organic farming especially in pollination,” he said.
Modi said that the approach of agriculture schemes had changed as they were not just production-centric but they had become income-centric as well.
He also listed schemes such as soil health cards, crop insurance, electronic marketing and revolution in fishing, apiculture that were launched for welfare of farmers.